Lisa Pauli, a 47-year-old woman from Canada, has battled anorexia for nearly 40 years and has decided to die once Canada expands its criteria for medically assisted death. Pauli, who weighs just 92 pounds, described her life as a living hell and revealed that she is too weak to perform daily activities. Currently, Pauli cannot legally seek medical help to die, but an upcoming change in the law will allow Canadians with mental illness to choose medically assisted death.
Pauli has tried numerous treatments, but her eating disorder continues to consume her every thought. While critics warn that Canada's expansion of assisted death may lead to mass euthanasia, proponents argue that it is a matter of personal autonomy. Last year, Canada saw a 35% rise in euthanasia deaths, and the new law will make the country one of the most expansive in terms of medical assistance in dying. Despite concerns from disability rights and religious advocates, the government maintains that they have taken careful steps in developing assisted death regulations.
However, some medical experts caution against including mental illness as a criterion for assisted death, as the nature of mental illnesses makes it difficult to determine irreparability. Assisted death laws in Canada require written applications and assessments from two independent medical practitioners. While Canada's experience with assisted dying is viewed as cautionary by opponents in other jurisdictions, Canadians largely support euthanasia policies. The road to allowing euthanasia in Canada began in 2015 when the top court declared that outlawing assisted suicide violated individuals' dignity and autonomy. Since then, the law has been expanded to include individuals who are not terminally ill, sparking controversy over the potential risks to vulnerable populations.