Thursday, December 15th, 2022

Ottawa, ON – Inclusion Canada, the national organization for people with an intellectual disability and their families, supports the government’s decision to delay the legalization of MAiD for mental illness. However, they believe that more needs to be done to address the discriminatory nature of the law. The organization is calling for a full stop on the legalization of assisted-dying (MAiD) for mental illness and for the government to repeal Bill C-7, which made it legal for people with disabilities who are not terminally ill to be euthanized. Bill C-7 was passed in 2021.

“MAiD for people with disabilities who are not terminally ill is a discriminatory disaster,” said Krista Carr, Executive Vice-President of Inclusion Canada,“This is made worse by systemic poverty, a housing crisis, and inadequate access to support in the community.”

Minister Lametti knows Canada is not ready for MAiD for mental illness because experts are seeing that the existing law is not working. People with disabilities have been dying by MAiD under track two because of their life circumstances and oppression, not because they want to die.

Canada’s MAiD law gives people three months to pursue alternatives once they have been “informed of the means available to relieve their suffering”. The disability community is asking the government to take the next three months to turn this legislation around.

“It’s about time,” says Robin Acton, parent, spouse of a person with a disability, and President of Inclusion Canada, “A legislated right to a state-assisted death in the absence of a legislated right to a decent life is a travesty. We should never have expanded MAiD beyond people who are at the end of life. The very existence of this legislation is a threat to the people I love.”

This is a critical moment for the disability community in Canada and their message is being heard. The pressure is working. This debate has been difficult for people with intellectual and other disabilities and their families but their advocacy efforts are paying off.

Inclusion Canada will continue to advocate for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities and their families, and call on the government to prioritize inclusion for all.

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For more information, please contact:

Marc Muschler, Inclusion Canada, 
416-661-9611 ext. 232

About Inclusion Canada

Inclusion Canada is a national federation of 13 provincial-territorial associations and over 300 local associations working to advance the full inclusion and human rights of people with an intellectual disability and their families. We lead the way in building an inclusive Canada by strengthening families, defending rights, and transforming communities into places where everyone belongs.