A response to the final report of the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying (AMAD)

Disabled people in Canada have been fighting the expansion of MAiD since its inception, arguing it is discriminatory towards disabled people and will result in premature death due to a lack of social supports. To date, despite their concerns being publicly shared by 5 UN Human Rights experts, they have been ignored or actively suppressed. With the release of the final report of the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying (AMAD) this pattern is continuing. As an expert and advocate for people with disability, Professor Tim Stainton was invited to testify, but his concerns were largely ignored, as were those of most disability advocates. Take a moment to watch this short video from Inclusion Canada (link below) highlighting the concerns of the disability community and its treatment by the parliamentary committee.

Hi Folks,

Sorry to bombard you with information on MAiD, but this is really a life-or-death issue for the disability community. You may be aware that the special parliamentary joint committee on MAiD just released its report, which is, not surprisingly, further expansion of MAiD including mature minor-without parental consent. Like all of the MAiD process this was largely a forgone conclusion. Below is a note from Inclusion Candia with a link to a very powerful video in response to the report, highlighting the continued disregard of the disability communities’ concerns and the outright rude and high-handed treatment of disabled activists by the committee. It is short, so I hope you’ll take a few minutes to have a look. It also highlights a similar ignoring of Indigenous concerns—there has been no formal engagement with the Indigenous community on MAiD despite the obvious issues around suicide in those communities.

From Inclusion Canada:

We’ve received and reviewed the final report of the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying (AMAD), and we are deeply troubled by what we have found. People with disabilities and their allies were ignored, and the committee’s final report is a discriminatory disaster.

To shed light on this issue, we’ve released a video showing the mistreatment of Canada’s disability community by the AMAD committee.

The video highlights the disrespectful and harmful behavior of committee members towards our community.

And share it with your networks. We need to make sure that our message is received, and that the rights of people with disabilities are protected.

Prof. Tim Stainton, PhD
School of Social Work
Director, Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship
University of British Columbia
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