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Canadian Quadriplegic woman can be approved and die by euthanasia quicker than it takes to get needed disability benefits.

by | Jun 23, 2023

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

CBC News reported on June 22, that Rose Finlay, a woman who lives with quadriplegia from Bowmanville Ontario, is scheduled to die by MAiD (euthanasia) within two weeks.

Finlay told Tyler Cheese, reporting for CBC news, that she applied for a medically assisted death because she has not been able to get the disability support services that she requires. Cheese reported:

A quadriplegic woman in Bowmanville, Ont., has applied for medical assistance in dying (MAID), saying it’s easier to access than the support services she needs to live her life comfortably.

Rose Finlay, 33, has been a full-time wheelchair user since a diving accident when she was 17.

But for the past year, she says, she’s been without the reliable daily support she needs. Without that support, which includes bathroom assistance, she suffers from recurring urinary tract and kidney infections.

Finlay was able to earn a living by operating a disability advocacy business, but her illness caused her to be unable to work. 

Finlay explained that it takes 6 – 8 months to be approved for disability supports but only 90 days to receive a medically assisted death. Cheese reports:

With no other way to earn an income, Finlay applied for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and says she was told by a representative over the phone that it would take at least six to eight months to have her application approved.

According to the federal government’s 
website, the approval period for MAID is only 90 days. MAID allows individuals with “grievous and irremediable” medical conditions to end their life with the assistance of a doctor or nurse practitioner.

“That tells me that our government is not prioritizing the lives of disabled people and that it is easier to let disabled people go than it is to actually give them the assistance that they need,” Finlay said.

Finlay told CBC news that she doesn’t want a medically assisted death but without disability supports the outcome is the same as she has become very sick.

Finlay is not the only person experiencing this reality. Ron Anicich, a spokesperson for the ODSP Action Coalition, told CBC Toronto that the organization has heard from a number of Ontarians with disabilities who have considered or applied for MAID because they feel like they’re running out of options. Anicich stated:

“That’s a big problem”

“If people are even considering going for MAID because of poor social assistance rates, then that is something that definitely needs to be looked at, that needs to be fixed, that needs to be repaired.”

According to the CBC News report, Finlay applied for ODSP payments and supports in March, 2023 and has not heard anything back yet.

Finlay is also concerned that even when she is approved for ODSP payments that the income support will not be enough to cover her expenses. The CBC article explains that ODSP currently pays $1228 per month, which is completely inadequate for a mother of three

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Euthanasia