Assisted Suicide Laws:
Economic Pressure Plays a Part
Denise, a young Canadian woman with a condition called Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), was struggling to find appropriate housing to accommodate her disabilities. MCS makes Denise susceptible to potentially fatal allergy attacks brought on by chemicals like cleaning detergents, cigarette smoke, and air fresheners. Denise is also a wheelchair user and requires her home to be accessible.
With non-negotiable housing needs and a little over $1,000 in government assistance to live on each month, Denise started to lose hope and applied for assisted suicide. “I’ve applied for MAiD [assisted suicide] essentially…because of abject poverty,” she said.* The government, which is responsible for but not providing her basic needs, is then going to approve her to kill herself.
In May 2022, two doctors had conditionally approved her application and her end-of-life documents were in the process of being finalized.
But since sharing her story publicly, a GoFundMe campaign was started to save her life by providing her means to get housing. Denise paused her application for assisted suicide and is now using the funds to stay in a hotel room that suits her needs while she looks for a more permanent housing situation.
Like Denise, patients with treatable, non-terminal illnesses who face economic pressure request assisted suicide in the United States, most recently over 8%.
*Some patients have qualified for assisted suicide with diabetes, arthritis, and anorexia. The supposed ‘safeguards’ in these laws are hollow and ineffective, and legalizing assisted suicide puts many at risk of deadly harm.
Note: Denise is a pseudonym used to protect this person’s privacy.