Bill C-7 expands Medical Assistance in Dying beyond those who are actually dying, but it only does so for persons with a disabling medical condition. In November of last year noted scholar Catherine Frazee addressed the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice & Human Rights on the legislation via video. “What is it about disability that makes this okay,” Frazee asked. “Why such breathless confidence that Bill C-7 will bring no harm to disability communities?”
Compensation awarded to the complainants in a human rights enquiry may sound generous, but it is peanuts when you take into account the decades the three were institutionalized, away from community and their loved ones, and subjected to a regime that allows almost no space for making your own decisions.
Joint media release by People First Canada and People First Nova Scotia tackles the decision in the recent Human Rights tribunal on warehousing of people with intellectual disabilities. “To completely dismiss the idea that people with disabilities are discriminated against in most every system in our society is not someone being ‘un-woke’ – this is someone who is completely unaware and obviously not paying attention.”
NS Human Rights Board chair Walter Thompson ruled that the Nova Scotia government has indeed discriminated against Beth MacLean, Sheila Livingstone and Joey Delaney, three people who were institutionalized against their will. When I first heard the news I thought it was a wonderful victory. Now that I have read the decision I think it mostly sucks, but it isn’t all bad.
Here is why.
When I have time I have been attending the Nova Scotia Human Rights enquiry into the lack of supportive community housing options for people with disabilities. These are the bits and pieces that I learned.
I attended day 14 in a lengthy NS Human Rights Commission inquiry into the lack of supportive housing for people who live with disabilities. The main witness was disabilities studies professor Catherine Frazee, and I learned a lot.