Promoting Human Flourishing in the Context of Medical Assistance in Dying (2017 – 2018)

The overall aim of this initiative is to develop and share cultural narratives about the meaning of disability, frailty and suffering in the context of an emerging system for Medical Aid in dying (MAiD) in Canada. The initiative is guided by the legislative commitment in the preamble to the Criminal Code provisions for Medical Aid in Dying adopted by Parliament in June 2016, and which states in part the need to “affirm the inherent and equal value of every person’s life and to avoid encouraging negative perceptions of the quality of life of persons who are elderly, ill or disabled;”.

This initiative will focus, in particular, on the barriers to self-respect and equal dignity faced by people with significant disabilities who live with fragility and suffering. These barriers are mounting as the discourse about medical aid in dying more and more shapes public understanding and consciousness about the meaning and value of lives lived in these conditions. The initiative will focus on developing ethics and art forms about human flourishing that provide a valuing vantage point from which people who live with significant disability, frailty and suffering can imagine and respect themselves, and an alternative lens through which others can view them.

This project is a collaborative initiative & partnership of: Canadian Association for Community Living, Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship, UBC; School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University, Tangled Art + Disability

Funded by: Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component, Employment and Social Development Canada

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