Will MAiD changes give drug users access to assisted death?

By Analysis by The Big Story Podcast

In today’s Big Story Podcast, it can be difficult to sort fact from fiction, or anecdotes from data, when it comes to a subject like assisted dying. The topic itself is so emotional. The stories of those who don’t qualify or from family left behind, can be heartbreaking. And the terms and conditions used to assess someone’s eligibility for the process are complex and opaque.

All of that is an environment ripe for misinformation — or for potential disasters to be imagined. 

Jocelyn Downie is a Professor Emeritus at the Faculties of Law and Medicine at Dalhousie University. She works at the intersection of health care ethics, law, and policy. “You can make it seem like the sky is falling by talking about people having access to MAiD, as if all people with substance use problems are having access to MAiD. That’s not true. And you get people concerned.”

Next year, restrictions on the MAiD law will fall away, allowing mental illness to be a sole condition for MAiD applicants. Substance use disorders may qualify under mental illness, so … yes, drug users may be able to apply for MAiD. But that’s a long way from saying their application will be granted. 

Today, a trip through the subtlety often missing in discussions of this controversial policy.

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and Spotify. You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today