The proclamation of the gospel challenges aspects of MAiD. So does basic truth telling. MAiD ends lives. MAiD is euthanasia. MAiD preys on the suffering and weak. MAiD exploits the poor who apply for death on the basis of acute suffering to which their neighbors have turned a blind eye. The moral consensus that Canadians—both Christian and non-Christian—once shared has slowly eroded. In its place, Christians stand on morals and ethics that are offensive to a world that celebrates death.
In March 2023, Canada will begin assisting the mentally ill by terminating their lives. Canada first legalized medical assistance in dying (MAiD) in 2016. Bill C-7 in 2021 expanded the criteria for MAiD beyond those who had a foreseeable death. Now, a further expansion will allow those with mental illness to receive a prescription for death.
The slope is not only slippery—the ground below MAiD collapsed into the pit of the earth. We should expect the requests of parents to end their children’s lives to soon be granted. We will not have post-birth abortion; we will have parents requesting to have their children receive the care given by medical assistance in dying. Lest I be accused of exaggeration, Quebec’s college of physicians has already (in 2021) recommended euthanizing infants and teenagers.
The euphemism “medical assistance in dying” means a medical professional will administer drugs that end the life of a patient. In traditional language, MAiD is euthanasia. And it’s the new normal in Canada.
The stories of people applying for MAiD in combination with the sympathetic reception of MAiD among Canadians will force Canadian Christians into conflict because any attempt to save someone’s life will invoke the ire of those who call death good and preserving life wrong.
Stories of MAiD
In a Toronto, a woman with an incurable sensitivity to chemicals used in housing has applied for MAiD. The woman, Denise, cannot afford to find housing without the chemicals that destroy her life. She may qualify for MAiD due to this incurable sensitivity, but her poverty means she has yet to find long-term affordable housing to preserve her health.
Denise has found “a temporary home” in a hotel, CTV News reports. Yet she has “not cancelled the MAID application.” Denise can’t live there forever; she may have to return to her apartment where she struggles to breathe.
A man in St. Catharines, Ontario, has also applied for MAiD because he suffers from depression, anxiety, and the real fear he might become homeless. Amir Farsoud explains, “I do nothing other than manage pain.” The fear of living with such mental anguish without affordable housing has driven him to the edge. “I don’t want to die but I don’t want to be homeless more than I don’t want to die.”
Homelessness doesn’t qualify someone for MAiD. But Farsoud may soon qualify on mental health grounds due to his ongoing anguish. Erin Anderssen explains, “On March 17, assisted dying will become legal for Canadians with a mental disorder as their sole condition.” Yet Farsoud doesn’t necessarily need the March update to MAiD. One of his doctors has already approved his application to MAiD due to his physical suffering, which is “intolerable and cannot be relieved.”
Julie Leblanc suffers from near-lifelong mental illness. She has an 8-year old son who plays a role in her will to live. Yet she “wavers between wanting to die and trying to live. . . . She feels trapped in despair and anxiety, while carrying the deepest sorrow of all—her illness prevents her from being a good mother to her son.”
Leblanc fears taking her own life because of the pain and the consequences of a failed attempt. MAiD tempts her since it promises a peaceful end.