(NewsReady.com) – In 1999, a court sentenced American Dr. Jack Kevorkian to 10 to 25 years in prison for helping dozens of terminally ill people commit suicide. The physician argued people should have the right to decide how they die when they have no hope of surviving an illness. He was later released after convincing authorities he would never do it again, and died in 2011.
In the years since Kevorkian went to prison, there have been shifts in how the law views assisted suicide in some places, like Canada. A recent survey provided insight into how people feel about the law and who they think has the right to die.
In 2016, the country passed the Medical Assistance In Dying (MAID) law. The legislation allows adults to apply for assisted suicide. To qualify, a person must have a serious disease, disability, or illness. They must also suffer from an “advanced state of decline that cannot be reversed.” Additionally, they must experience mental or physical suffering that’s unbearable and caused by the disease, illness, disability, or state of decline.
Canada later expanded the law to include people who suffer from mental illnesses and who meet all of the other criteria as well. However, that has been put on hold until March 17, 2024, because the government wants to ensure territories and provinces are prepared for the expansion.
Research Co. conducted a survey on medical-assisted suicide on May 5. The firm asked Canadians a number of questions about how they felt about the MAID law. One inquired under what circumstances they would support someone committing suicide with the help of the medical community.
According to the results, 11% of Canadians “strongly agree” that someone should be allowed to take their own life because they are poor. An additional 16% “moderately agree.” They were also asked if they thought people should be able to kill themselves because they are homeless, and the results were pretty similar, with 11% “strongly” agreeing and 17% “moderately” agreeing.
Expanding Care to Kids?
The survey wanted to know what punishment parents should receive if they help their terminally ill son or daughter die. The results found 8% of people think parents should receive a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. Additionally, 29% of respondents said they believe the punishment should be up to the judge, 14% thought a fine without jail time was sufficient, and 24% said they shouldn’t receive any penalty.
There have been attempts to expand the law to allow kids to die too, but so far, those efforts have not turned into an actual policy.
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