Dmitry Makeev for Wikimedia Commons

MAiD in heaven

The law no longer requires that a person’s death be reasonably foreseeable to be eligible for medical assistance in dying. Which must mean that the want of death is not an abled-anomaly, an illness, a sickness to be cured, anymore, but a legally sanctioned whim. Which means that we will stop calling suicide a tragedy. Which means that we understand that killing yourself and letting the state kill you are discernibly different. Which means that no disabled persons will ever be so starved, so hopeless, so ignored and thrown out and denied of the means of living that they choose medically assisted death over their fulfilling, supported, and state-sanctioned lives. 

The teens are re-writing their Tumblr posts. The teens are playing Nirvana on repeat. The teens are making infographics. The teens are waiting.

The nation-state says that mental illness as a sole eligibility will be delayed, so that regulations and safeguards, like school counsellors and university professors, can be put into place, but the teens laugh until they cry when they hear this. 

No lawmaker finds this legislation funny. No lawmaker has ever heard the word comorbidity. No lawmaker has ever watched the emergency room intake nurse take one look at you and see nothing, not even a body. No lawmaker has ever stood barefoot on speckled tile at 4 a.m. at the Grey Nuns Hospital and wondered whether swallowing the Ambien, or running, was worth it. No lawmaker has ever sat at a dinner table with six pills in hand, insurance denial letters, and a notice for rent with two needles ready to go and thought to themselves:

"It will only ever be a last resort to ask for medical assistance in dying. I myself am fully capable of asking for medical assistance in dying. I myself have everything I need. I myself want the option but will never have to choose medical assistance in dying. No one will ever coerce me. The doctor will always listen. The psychiatrist is always available without a waiting list. The car has an airbag, and the bridges have nets, and the trains don’t go fast enough. If I am to want my own death it is because I have everything I need and am in need no more. This is a perfect system in which my body, free of its own terminality, gives full and informed consent."

We surveyed 27.5 Canadians a day and most of them are not even a memory now. 

Most of them died the way they wanted to – without headlines, at their own hands, instead of at the doorsteps of the Supreme Court. Most of them have chosen freedom – true, God-given freedom – to die and did not live in the province with the highest rent in Canada. 

Please note that certain medications for medial assistance in dying are provided at no cost. 

Please note that all terminal and non-terminal illnesses eventually end in death, anyway, so no, we have no problem sleeping at night. 

Please note that missed appointments have a no-show fee of $50. 

Nisha Patel is an award-winning queer and disabled spoken word artist. She was the City of Edmonton’s 8th Poet Laureate, and is a Canadian Individual Slam Champion. You can find her @anothernisha. 

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