FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 17, 2022
New York, New York – On Thursday, June 16, Inclusion Canada joined disability partners Inclusion International and ARCH Disability Law Centre in hosting a side session at the 15th United Nations Conference of State Parties (COSP) on the Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
“Canary in a Coalmine: The Expansion of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in Canada,” warned the world of Canada’s discriminatory assisted dying legislation. The recent amendments to the law now permits people who are not terminally ill to be euthanized, provided that they have a disability or disabling medical condition. The Canadian government was criticized for making death a viable option before providing people with disabilities the supports and services necessary to ensure quality of life.
“As the parent of a young woman with an intellectual disability, I am terrified of the impact of Canada’s MAiD legislation” said President of Inclusion Canada, Robin Acton, “It is ironic that while we are convening with the international community to affirm and advance the rights of persons with disabilities, we have to warn the world about what is happening in Canada such that it doesn’t become the blueprint for others.”
Internationally recognized disability and human rights activists, including the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Gerard Quinn, echoed concerns raised by Canadian advocates. Quinn stressed how Canada’s legislation is a threat, noting that having a disability must never be the reason a person is put to death.
Since the passage of Bill C-7, Canada’s MAiD law, “we are outraged by the countless real life examples of people with disabilities being approved to die not for medical reasons but because they are disproportionately living in poverty and do not have access to the supports they need to live a good life,” reported Executive Vice President of Inclusion Canada, Krista Carr. “We warned government this would happen if this legislation was passed. How many more disabled people in Canada will have to die before government listens and reverses course?”
There was much interest in the event globally, with 237 people, including representatives from over a dozen countries, including Japan, Mexico, and New Zealand in attendance. It is one of the most well-attended side events in the history of COSP.
Inclusion Canada will continue to work with our disability partners within Canada and globally to advocate against this ableist legislation and fight for the lives of people with disabilities.
Marc Muschler, Inclusion Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Inclusion Canada
Inclusion Canada is composed of ten provincial and three territorial associations, with over 300 local associations across the country and more than 40,000 members. Inclusion Canada leads the way in helping Canadians build an inclusive Canada by strengthening families, defending rights, and transforming communities into places where everyone can belong.