When Death Is the Best Choice, Is It a Choice at All?

By NORA LORETO: Complete Post through this link…

Disabled Canadians need support, but without proper government funding, voluntary death through MAID may be their only option.

As long as someone places Michal Kaliszan’s hands on a keyboard and a mouse, he has enough strength and dexterity to use a computer. Once his hands are there, the 40-year-old software developer at Blackberry can start his workday. But for anything else—”personal care, activities, and daily living”—he needs someone’s help.“

“I need people to be my arms and legs, to help me with physical tasks,” he says. Kaliszan has spinal muscular atrophy, which has caused his muscles to weaken over time. With the help of physical support, he lives alone in the house he grew up in, in Cambridge, Ontario, west of Toronto.

Assistance programs provided by the provincial government of Ontario had given Kaliszan 41 hours of personal support each week, or nearly six hours a day—almost the maximum level of care the government will provide to someone in his situation. But Kaliszan needs overnight care as well. When his mother went into palliative care and could no longer help him, he started a GoFundMe to try and raise almost $800 a day to fund the nearly around-the-clock care he needs. He raised almost $70,000—a significant sum, but still not enough to last even three months.

Personal fundraising is one of Kaliszan’s options, but he has several others. He could push for more funding from the government, which he’s unlikely to get, as it would place him outside of what the program promises people in his situation. Alternatively, he could move into an institution where a portion of the fees are covered by the provincial government. Or he could take the route that he fears is his best choice: He could access Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) and ask a doctor to help him end his own life.

Leave a Reply