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Over a quarter of Canadians believe that people should have access to euthanasia because of poverty, a new survey has found.
Currently, Canada’s federal guidelines for medical assistance in dying include having a grievous and irremediable medical condition, making a voluntary request for medical assistance in dying that is not the result of outside pressure or influence, and giving informed consent to receive medical assistance in dying.
But according to research by Research CO., a Canada-based public opinion researcher, over a quarter of the country would be content with a further loosening of the rules. Among Canadians, 27% believe that medical assistance in dying should be extended to people in poverty — a figure that rose to 41% among those aged 18-34 — while 28% agreed that assistance should be offered on the grounds of homelessness, 43% for mental illness, and 50% for being disabled.
Since Canada legalised euthanasia in 2016, the country has gone on to become one of the most permissive euthanasia regimes in the world. In 2021, the Canadian parliament enacted Bill C-7, a sweeping euthanasia law which repealed a requirement that only those suffering from a terminal illness whose natural death was “reasonably foreseeable” could request euthanasia. Now, anyone suffering from an illness or disability which “cannot be relieved under conditions that you consider acceptable” can freely use medical assistance in dying.
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