March 30, 2024

Canadian father fights to stop autistic daughter from accessing MAID

A Calgary man has won a temporary stay of the euthanasia of his 27-year-old daughter who is suffering from autism. 

According to a report in CBC News, the father, known as W.V. in court documents, says that M.V., his daughter, is healthy and is not eligible for euthanasia. She is required to have a grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes intolerable and enduring physical or psychological suffering. Two medical practitioners must attest to this. 

M.V. — who lives with her father — was approved for euthanasia in December and the date of her death was set for February 1. However, at the last minute her father won a temporary injunction to prevent her from accessing MAID (medical assistance in dying). In his brief W.V. said that “M.V. suffers from autism and possibly other undiagnosed maladies that do not satisfy the eligibility criteria for MAID.”

Emily Amirkhani, a lawyer for W.V., said that MAID is “an incredibly unique system”. If a person seeking MAID is wrongfully approved, “that person is never going to cause anyone to look behind that curtain” because they got what they wanted. “It’s unlike any situation I can think of where the wrongful administration of the system cannot be brought to light but for someone besides the patient,” said Amirkhani.

M.V.’s lawyer, Austin Paladeau, said that the nub of the case is an adult’s right to medical autonomy. W.V. is “at risk of losing his daughter and while this is sad, it does not give him the right to keep her alive against her wishes.”