Woman with ‘brittle bones’ advised to access assisted suicide, wants to live

Tracy Polewczuk, who suffers from spina bifida, broke her leg two years ago and never truly recovered. A nurse and social worker said she could access medical assistance in dying (MAID).

Woman with ‘brittle bones’ advised to access assisted suicide, wants to live
Remove Ads

A Québec woman with a birth defect causing brittle bones twice received unsolicited medical advice to access doctor-assisted suicide.

Tracy Polewczuk, who suffers from spina bifida, broke her leg two years ago and never truly recovered.

The agony which she lives in requires daily home care visits from aids at the local community service centres.

Unfortunately, the care received has been insufficient, and is only getting worse.

“They don't bother asking like they know your name, but they don't address you. It's just so impersonal, and they don't care,” Polewczuk told CTV News

"You get up when they tell you to. You go to bed when they tell you. You do what they tell you to. That's it,” she said. “You have zero control over your life.”

Courtesy of her poor care, aids have on several occasions reaggravated her injury. Polewczuk says she needs to be moved a certain way, as a result.

“I've gotten hurt several times because people won't listen,” she said, going as far as saying the healthcare system treats her inhumanely.

Twice she received word on her eligibility for medical assistance in dying (MAID). Once by a nurse and a social worker at Ste-Anne's Hospital and Verdun Hospital, respectively.

“It feels like we are being pushed towards the MAID program instead of being given the help to live,” Polewczuk said.

In 2022, more than 4,800 Québécers opted for the procedure—more than any other province in Canada. 

“I'm in pain 24/7. I can survive that.”

“I cannot survive being treated like a sack of meat,” Polewczuk contends.

“I want to survive. I want to thrive,” she said. “I want my life back. I want the opposite of what they're trying to have us do,” she explained.

“The rules surrounding medical aid in dying are very strict, and we respect them to the letter,” according to a comment from the West Island Regional Health Authority. They refused to convey specifics for privacy reasons.

“The initiative must always come from the patient, not the nursing staff,” the health authority said.

Doctor Paul Saba, a family physician, told CTV the healthcare system sorely needs improvements. All patients “regardless of their condition, regardless of the disability,” deserve adequate care.

“What are the circumstances in which those persons have asked it? Are these people at home not being served adequately, not getting sufficient, not having anyone to help heal her or him?” Saba said.

“My theory is that a lot of those people who have asked and gotten medical help to die, that they might have been in circumstances where they had no other choice.”

The physician clarified that when healthcare workers suggest accessing MAID, it's a recommendation.

Health Minister Christian Dube did not respond to a request for comment by the publication.

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads