Winnipeg – October 5, 2020 – The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), a national disability rights organization, is vehemently denouncing the Trudeau government’s re-introduction of Bill C-7, a bill which extends access to Medical Aid in Dying to people who are experiencing intolerable suffering as a result of illness or disability, but whose death is not reasonably foreseeable. The bill was first introduced in early February, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly revealed the ableism that is rampant in Canada’s healthcare system, as well as in Canadian society as a whole.” says Dr. Heidi Janz, Chair of the CCD’s Ending-of-Life Ethics Committee. She explains that “Ableism can be defined as the discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief that typical abilities are superior. Like racism and sexism, ableism classifies entire groups of people as ‘less than,’ and perpetuates harmful stereotypes, misconceptions, and generalizations about people with disabilities.”