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External Events:  Events hosted by community partners from within BC. (FSIBC is not responsible for the content, management or facilitation of these sessions. All inquiries and comments are referred directly to event organizers.)

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Plagued to Death by Systemic Ableism: What the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Expansion of Eligibility for MAiD Reveal About the Lethal Dangers of Systemic Ableism in Canada

September 20, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm PDT

Please join us for a talk by Dr. Heidi Janz on systemic ableism in Canada.

Abstract: 2020 and the advent of COVID-19 ushered in a time of new peril for disabled people in Canada. Government and public health officials repeated their daily mantra: “We’re all in this together,” while at the same time creating policies and legislation which made it clear that disabled Canadians are not part of the “we.” Provinces quietly developed Critical Care Triage Protocols which would prohibit many disabled people from receiving critical care in the event that a surge in severe COVID cases outstripped available resources, and at the national level, government pushed through an expansion of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) despite overwhelming opposition from major disability rights organizations, scholars, activists and the United Nations.

Drawing on my research and experience as a disability ethics educator and advocate, I will demonstrate that both Canada’s COVID-19 response and its expansion of eligibility for MAID are symptoms of the medical and systemic ableism that afflicts Canadian society. The presentation will conclude with a consideration of the ethical imperative for a Disability-Ethics-based approach to re-evaluating the (un)justness of both exclusionary pandemic protocols and the ever-expanding eligibility for MAID.


Tuesday, September 20, 2022
12:00 – 1:00 PM PDT
Hybrid event
Life Sciences Centre 1013, 2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
and Online via Zoom

This will be a hybrid event with livestreaming. Please indicate on the registration form whether you will be attending in person or online.





Heidi Janz, Ph.D. (She/Her/Hers) is a Core Faculty Member and Associate Adjunct Professor with the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre at the University of Alberta. Her areas of specialization include Disability Ethics, Critical Disability Studies, and Research-Based Drama. She is also an active disability-rights advocate at the national level. In her “other life,” she is a writer/playwright and filmmaker. Her creative work focuses on making the experiences of people with disabilities accessible to audiences made up of both people with disabilities and people who are temporarily able-bodied. Heidi Janz also has cerebral palsy.


September 20, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm PDT
Event Category:


Life Sciences Center
2350 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z3 Canada
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