Legislated Ableism: Bill C-7 and the Rapid Expansion of MAiD in Canada

72 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2023

See all articles by Isabel Grant

Isabel Grant

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2023

Abstract

This paper explores the recent expansion of medical assistance in dying to disabled people who are suffering intolerably but are not at the end of their lives. The paper argues that it is impossible to separate suffering caused by an irremediable disability and suffering caused by the impacts of systemic ableism, which include high rates of poverty, social isolation and exclusion for people with disabilities. The paper suggests that this expansion raises constitutional issues under s. 15 and s. 7 of the Charter because it is premised on a view that portrays disability as potentially worse than death and thus denies people with disabilities the protection of the criminal law that is provided to other Canadians. The paper concludes that there is no safe way for the state, through the medical system, to be involved in ending the lives of people with disabilities who are not otherwise dying.

Keywords: MAiD, medical assistance in dying, assisted suicide, ableism, the Charter of Rights

Suggested Citation

Grant, Isabel, Legislated Ableism: Bill C-7 and the Rapid Expansion of MAiD in Canada ( 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4544454 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4544454

Isabel Grant (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Law ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
Canada

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