When you feel like you've seen just about everything on social media, something else comes along to remind you how depraved the human race can be. An influencer has gained millions of views after she documented her grandma's choice for medically assisted suicide in Canada. It all started when she posted a video of herself dressing up for her last dinner with her grandma. "My grandmother has chosen Euthanasia for her terminal diagnosis, so this is the last time I can take her out to dinner," she wrote. The video got more than 11 million views on TikTok. From there, she started posting multiple videos about her grandma's choice for MAiD.
What Is MAiD?
Since February 2016, Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) has become a legally recognized end-of-life care option in Canada. This significant legislation came into being with the enactment of Bill C-14, following the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in the Carter v. Canada case that lifted the prohibition on assisted dying. Eligibility for MAiD is defined by specific criteria. Firstly, the person must be eligible for government-funded health services in Canada. Additionally, they must be at least 18 years old and capable of making healthcare decisions for themselves. Crucially, the person must have a grievous and irremediable medical condition, which is further defined by four conditions: having a serious and incurable illness, disease, or disability; being in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability; experiencing unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be relieved under conditions the person considers acceptable; and their natural death must be reasonably foreseeable. That mental suffering could be a mental illness that people feel like they just can't manage anymore. In other words, your depression could be reason enough for your doctor to legally help you commit suicide.
The implementation of MAiD has garnered significant praise and criticism alike. Advocates argue that MAiD respects individual autonomy and dignity, allowing eligible adults to make informed decisions about their end-of-life care. They posit that MAiD can alleviate prolonged suffering and offer a sense of control to those facing terminal illnesses. Furthermore, it is seen as a compassionate response to an individual’s unique circumstances and personal beliefs. However, critics have expressed a variety of concerns. Some medical professionals and disability rights advocates argue that MAiD could potentially lead to abuses, especially in the absence of robust safeguards. Others assert that it might unduly pressure vulnerable individuals, such as those with disabilities or the elderly, who may feel they are a burden to their loved ones or society. There are also philosophical and religious objections. Some people believe that life should be preserved at all costs and view MAiD as morally and ethically wrong. Faith-based organizations and religious individuals often oppose MAiD, believing that only God has the right to determine the end of life.
In March 2021, an amendment to the law, Bill C-7, was passed, which expanded eligibility for MAiD to individuals whose death is not reasonably foreseeable. This amendment, while increasing access to MAiD, has amplified the concerns of those critical of the legislation.
Influencer Publicizes Her Grandma's Choice for MAiD on Social Media
Shortly after her first video went viral, Ali Tate Cutler posted a video of herself crying on TikTok with the caption, "These last 4 days have been so hard. I'm trying to stay positive for my Bubbie, but I can't handle that I'm about to say goodbye forever at the airport tomorrow."
Then she started posting videos featuring her grandmother discussing her choice of euthanasia. She is terminally ill and wants to be in control of her death. She says you receive one initial injection that just puts you to sleep, followed by two other injections that eventually end your life. "It's painless," the grandmother says. She said she'd prefer to do this at the hospital rather than at home and she looks forward to being in charge of the way she leaves this world. Her husband has already died, so she envisions seeing him in the afterlife.
She also gives advice to everyone: laugh, enjoy yourself, and spend time with the people you love. "Tell them you love them," she says. After her grandmother gives this advice, Ali says we need to not have any judgment for people's decisions and let them do whatever they want to do in life.
Yesterday, Ali responded to many of the criticisms she received online in the last few days. There was much backlash about the way that she used her grandmother's suicide to gain followers, clicks, and views for her social media. But she claimed that she just wanted to raise awareness about MAiD and discuss it.
"I had moral questions about her choice myself, what I can say is that unless you have a loved one in your life who has a future of slow degradation until death in front of them, you truly won't know how it feels," she wrote in an Instagram story. "Opinions and beliefs may change quickly should you see this up close and personal."
She disagreed with the notion that MAiD suicide shouldn't be celebrated, claiming that suicide is only considered wrong because of Judeo-Christian values, and this simply isn't good enough.
"When a group or individual finds something immoral it doesn't mean it shouldn't be done," she wrote. "This is why we have a separation of church and state in America because not all people subscribe to the same moral codes."
This is entirely untrue about the separation of church of state. First of all, the separation of church and state is nowhere to be found in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence. Secondly, the notion from the Founding Fathers that there should be a wall between church and state was meant to protect the church from the state, not the other way around. Sadly, the concept of separation of church and state has been misused, misrepresented, and abused so that people can deny that the objective morality used to write the Constitution, which was derived from Christian beliefs and the Bible, should be a point of reference for our society.
When people disagreed with the idea that humans shouldn't be put down like dogs are, she responded, "I find this to be a speciesist argument." She argued that if it's the "humane" choice for animals, then it's the humane choice for humans. It's a dangerous, unethical game to compare animals to humans, but Ali made it clear that she thinks humans should be treated the same way as dogs are when it comes to death.
No matter how aesthetic and sentimental influencers attempt to make MAiD, it's objectively immoral to end an innocent human life, even if the person "consents" to it. The problem with our society is that we have resorted to consent-based morality (as long as people consent to it, it's perfectly acceptable and even moral) rather than maintaining an objective morality. Sadly, there are some states in the U.S. that allow for medically assisted suicide, but it's not yet legal at the federal level.