Suzanne Richard

I have watched many close people in my life suffer greatly before death. Those people received appropriate medical attention and care. They had access to shelter, food, friends, and family to support and help them. The ability to make a decision to receive MAID under those conditions, is fathomable. Our child, who in hindsight, has suffered with mental health since kindergarten has NOT received the appropriate care and/or support from ANY system in place. In fact, the program for family and friends to learn and assist in appropriate support and care of those suffering with mental health was canceled! Until access to full support and care can be appropriate, provided, and met in a fair and equitable manner, the expansion of MAID should not proceed or even be discussed for those suffering with mental illness!!!! The discussion should start with being appropriate! Providing access to MAID when one’s prefrontal cortex is NOT fully developed and being a large contributor to the ability to make decisions and manage stress is NOT fair or reasonable and definitely not appropriate! The full development of the prefrontal cortex generally happens between the ages of mid to late twenties, is individualized, and must be intact when these decisions are being made and regulated. Otherwise MAID is a CRUEL option that undervalues life and those who live it and have provided it! Accessibility to assistance and support without causing financial hardship is another discussion that should happen prior to the expansion of MAID. Our child is 27 now and has worked extremely hard to exist and is doing much better than ever before! For all kinds of reasons, she finally is receiving assistance that isn’t causing huge hardships. She is well on her way to being a contributing member of society and this has made a significant and positive difference to her existence. As she puts it … mom, they don’t want to help us, they just want us to kill ourselves!

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