According to the World Health Organization, about 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. The number translates to one person every 40 seconds. Further indications reveal that for each adult who died by suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide. WHO proposes that effective and evidence-based interventions can be implemented at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts.
Suicide is one of the most common types of death. Attempting to take your own life is a criminal offence in Kenya. But what if someone else voluntarily helped you take away your own life and the law okays it?
But Canada has been approaching the situation very differently. It is one of the few nations where doctors can legally help sick people die. There have been more than 13,000 reported medically assisted deaths in Canada.
Its government adopted the law four years ago and had left room for amendments in terms of accessibility. In its new proposition, Canada’s government has expanded its law on medically assisted death to include for the first time people who were not at immediate risk of dying. Meaning if you wanted to die, a doctor could give you a lethal injection, and save you the hustle of drowning in a bathtub after slitting the veins in your wrists wide open.
This proposal was informed by a court ruling in favour of two people who were both in severe pain and had incurable medical conditions. They argued that the law was too restrictive as it limited access to those who were certain of death.
The government said it would soon review cases of medically assisted deaths so as give considerations for applications previously rejected. Those who qualify for it will now include those newly diagnosed with a condition that could affect their decision-making capacity in the future, people suffering solely from mental illness as well those under 19 who doctors deemed capable of giving their consent.
While this does feel like a noble proposal, the Canada government should tighten the loose ends so that people do not corrupt this law.