An article by Moira Wyton titled: “I Shouldn’t Have to Beg for My Life” is the story of a woman known as “Madeline” who is planning to die by (MAiD) euthanasia, not because she wants to die, but because she cannot afford the cost of her treatment and care.
Madeline has been preparing for medical assistance in dying, or MAID, for over a year, and says she could choose to die as soon as late July if she does not come up with the money to cover treatments for her complex mitochondrial and post-viral conditions.
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a multisystem disease that affects patients in myriad ways, leaving many with profound fatigue, cognitive and mobility challenges, trouble sleeping and in extreme pain. It can impact nearly all systems in the body, including respiratory, muscular, nervous and immune systems.
Madeline tells Wyton that she cannot afford the cost of her treatment and care that she estimates at $100,000 per year, on a disability assistance benefit of $1,358 per month.
Madeline told Wyton:
“They would rather see me die than recognize my illness and pay for the treatments that keep me alive,”
“My death is no more inevitable than a diabetic’s who can’t get insulin.”
Wyton explains that approximately 600,000 Canadians have ME/CFS and yet there are only 6 specialists in Canada. Wyton warns that more of these people may soon die by euthanasia.
“Madeline” which is not her actual name, started a podcast to discuss the health issues and her euthanasia dilemma at I Am Madeline.
Wyton reports that the podcast was created to save Madeline’s life. She writes:
The podcast was born not just of Madeline’s desire to save her own life, but also to prevent others from experiencing the same neglect that she says leaves her with no choice but to prepare to die.
Madeline was reluctant but decided to participate after speaking to a close friend and realizing she doesn’t want to die “even more than I don’t want to do the podcast, that I don’t want to do the GoFundMe, that I don’t want to have to bare my soul and beg for my life.”
Madeline said that she wants to live and that she shouldn’t have to beg for her life, but Madeline also said:
“MAID isn’t giving up; it’s just being brutally practical about what’s happening and that it’s because the larger system has abdicated on my whole disease.”
Madeline clearly explains how euthanasia is not about freedom, choice or autonomy but rather an abandonment of people at their time of need.