Jama and Downie on MAiD

In previous posts, I have drawn attention to the creative and important work of Sarah Jama and the Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO). For instance, I alerted readers/listeners of BIOPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY to the recent “Death By Coercion” webinar that DJNO organized to push back against the way that the perspectives and experiences of Black, Indigenous, poor, queer, and other marginalized disabled people have been left out of consultation with respect to MAiD, in favour of the viewpoints of nondisabled, white, wealthy “experts” such as Jocelyn Downie, Daniel Weinstock, and an array of other bioethicists and lawyers.

In various posts, I have also drawn attention to the connections between the toxic (and lethal) environment that the development and promotion of MAiD have produced in Canada for disabled people and the exclusion of disabled philosophers (especially disabled philosophers of disability) and critical philosophical work on disability from Canadian philosophy. As regular readers and listeners of BIOPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY will by now know, there isn’t a single disabled philosopher of disability employed in a permanent position in a philosophy department in Canada. Ableist bioethics (including the ableist bioethics of MAiD), I have pointed out, shapes philosophy and philosophy departments in Canada.

The other evening, Canada Tonight, a recently introduced nightly news program airing on the CBC, ran a segment in which Downie and Jama were featured. In my view (and the views of others), Jama owned Downie by the end of the segment.

One of arguments that Canadian bioethicists and other proponents of MAiD repeatedly roll out is that restrictions on MAiD are paternalistic and fail to give Canadians their due as autonomous, self-determining adults, etc. Watch the segment and judge for yourself whether the manner that Downie adopts to address this Black disabled woman and Ginella Massa, the woman of colour host of the show, is patronizing, if not condescending.

Watch the segment here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_ePnz_g4Es&feature=youtu.be

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