A Canadian fashion giant has been accused of glorifying suicide after launching a media campaign that appeared to promote euthanasia – an increasingly common practice in Canada.
The ‘All is Beauty’ video ad, launched by La Maison Simons, revolves around a terminally ill woman, Jennyfer, 37, who ended her life with drug intervention in October.
The three-minute video shows Jennyfer and loved ones waving bubble wands next to the ocean, picnicking in the woods with friends and watching a puppet show.
In an audio recording recorded weeks before her death, she said: ‘I’ve spent my life filling my heart with beauty, nature and connection. I choose to fill my last moments with… My last breath is sacred. As I fantasize about my final days, I see music. I see the ocean. I see cheesecake.’
The campaign comes amid a wave of criticism from disability campaigners and doctors who have denounced Canada’s euthanasia policy as ‘perverted’. Already 10,000 terminally ill Canadians die by euthanasia every year, and in March, patients with mental health issues will be eligible to participate.
The use of medically assisted suicide in Canada has increased dramatically in recent years. More than 10,000 users by 2021, up 31%
Yuan Yi Zhu, a policy expert at Oxford University, told DailyMail.com: ‘By presenting a woman’s decision to commit suicide as an upscale lifestyle choice, Simons is glorifying suicide. and told vulnerable Canadians that they would rather die than live. .’
The video has also drawn criticism from social media users, who have called it “spooky” and compared it to “scientific misplacement”.
Since being uploaded about a month ago, the video has garnered more than 1.1 million views on YouTube. The 30-second video posted to Twitter has about 1.6 million views.
The company behind the campaign, La Maison Simons, is a family-owned business with headquarters in Quebec that has been a staple in Canada since 1840. The retailer owns 15 stores. department stores throughout Canada as well as offices in London, Paris, Hong Kong and Florence.
DailyMail.com has approached La Maison Simons for comment.
Prior to the release of the controversial ad, La Maison Simons chief executive Peter Simons said the goal when shooting the video was ‘a true reflection of who we want to be as a company’. , made the ‘brave choice to use the privilege of his voice and the platform to create something meaningful, something less commercial and more connected.’
Starting in March 2023, Canada’s eligibility for medically assisted suicide will expand even further, allowing people without medical conditions to also receive help. They must get approval from two doctors and wait 90 days from application until death
‘We find it perhaps difficult to reconnect with one hope and one optimism [due to the pandemic] and we wanted to do something that really emphasized the connection between people.’
He added that Jennyfer, who has not revealed her terminal illness, was ‘brave’ and ‘inspirational’ to share her story and hopes it can give people ‘strength. and the courage to see beauty in life’s more difficult moments’.
Medically assisted suicide in Canada, how does it work?
In 2016, the Canadian government passed legislation allowing medically assisted suicide, known as MAID, across the country.
Under the original rules, a terminally ill person who was determined to be dying could receive a medical suicide.
They will need approval from at least two doctors and must wait ten days from the time they apply and receive the medication.
In 2021, Measure C-7 was passed, setting up a second track for MAID.
This pathway would allow a medically assisted person to commit suicide even if death is not imminent if it is determined that they have an intolerable disability or illness.
They also need a confirmation from two doctors to receive the medicine, but have to wait 90 days.
Starting March 2023, a person with only a mental health condition, not a physical condition, can apply for MAID.
They will be classified under the second track, which means they will have to wait 90 days and need approval from two doctors.
Mr. Simons’ position on YouTube describing the reasons for launching the campaign also caused considerable outrage.
One commenter chastised Mr Simons and company for ‘promoting and glorifying suicide and murder’.
Another wrote: ‘Putting this movie as an ad just makes it seem like Simons is lobbying for MAiD expansion… we don’t need to watch euthanasia over and over and over romantically. .’
Neither Jennyfer nor Mr Simons have disclosed the illness, although it is clear that she qualifies under the law’s eligibility criteria as having a physical condition deemed ‘intolerable’ or stage last.
Canada is one of the few countries that gave the green light for medical assistance in dying (MAID).
Others include Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Colombia, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and New Zealand.
Canadian law is poised to become one of the laxest in the West.
The liberal government’s MAiD law dates back to 2016 when parliament legalized both physician-administered euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide to help people identified as dying.
Persons interested in MAiD must be 18 years of age or older. They must have a serious condition or severe disability, an irreversible impairment, and endure ‘unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be alleviated in conditions that the patient considers acceptable. ‘
Their deaths must also be ‘reasonably foreseeable’ and requests for assisted suicide must be approved by at least two medical professionals.
But the new criteria will go into effect on March 17, 2023, when people only need to show proof that they have a serious mental illness to qualify for dying medical assistance.
The patient will still need to convince two doctors differed that they were suffering ‘unbearable physical or psychological suffering caused by their medical condition or debilitating condition and could not be relieved under conditions that the individual finds acceptable.’
But experts told DailyMail.com that the law doesn’t come with adequate safeguards to protect people who aren’t in the right mindset or prepared to make that decision.
Mr. Zhu said: ‘While morally disgusting, Simons’ marketing campaign reflects the extent to which Canada’s euthanasia system has devalued human life.’
Canada recorded 10,064 medically assisted deaths in Canada in 2021, a 32% increase from the previous year, more than any other country where the procedure is legal.
The policy change has raised concerns among disability rights activists that MAiD has become a viable treatment option for people who believe they have nowhere to turn, for example. such as the severely mentally ill, the poor and the homeless.
“Sick, disabled and suicidal Canadians need adequate support so they can lead a dignified life, not an unlimited offer of euthanasia,” said Mr. Zhu.
The story of 54-year-old Amir Farsoud from Ontario sent shockwaves across the country for the grim reason of asking for MAiD.
Mr Farsoud suffered from debilitating chronic back pain, faced eviction notices and inevitable homelessness, he applied for assisted suicide.
He said that the Canadian government had not provided him with enough financial and social support. He received one of two necessary approvals from medical professionals before the story was released.
Having received a lot of public support, including $60,000 in community funding to cover housing costs, Mr. Farsoud chose to keep living.
Mr Farsoud said: ‘If society cares about people like me, and like the other half a million people (government subsidies) in poverty, then get them out of poverty. That is the obvious solution.
‘If they came out of poverty and if they had a roof over their heads and had food in their mouths, I guarantee you wouldn’t consider MAiD. The whole argument will be superfluous.’
Especially vulnerable patients such as the elderly and those with intellectual impairment may not be able to make informed decisions when presented with the MAiD option. And critics say the safeguards in place to protect everyone are not enough.
In 2019, 61-year-old Alan Nichols passed away voluntarily without his family’s permission. The man has suffered from serious mental health problems as well as a stroke in recent years but is still largely independent.
He also had hearing and vision loss along with a history of seizures, weakness and ‘failure to grow’, his nurse said.
Mr. Nichols’ family was outraged, arguing that assisted suicide should never be placed in Mr. Nichols’ hands.
Source: | This article originally belonged to Dailymail.co.uk