A Windsor man who urged the federal government to legalize doctor-assisted dying for people like himself with mental illness has taken his own life.
Adam Maier-Clayton’s mother, Margaret Maier, said in a Facebook post she was “devastated” that her “beautiful son” had committed suicide.
“My son has been on a campaign for several years now on the right to die for the mentally ill,” she wrote. “He was in such pain and yet, continued to battle with dignity until the very end.”
Maier-Clayton told CBC News in October that he has battled anxiety, mood disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder since he was a child. He said he was wracked with debilitating pain that felt like he was being burned with acid.
The 27-year-old business school graduate told CBC News the pain was constant but worsened with any kind of cognitive activity like reading and speaking.
“I can’t get through three pages of a book,” he said at the time. “Just to get through the first two would leave me with six hours of pain. I can’t read, I can’t write.”
Tried both medication and therapy
Maier-Clayton tried a variety of medications and therapy, including antidepressant and anticonvulsant drugs. He also tried counselling and extensive therapy, including experimental ketamine infusion therapy. Doctors said they could find no physical cause for the pain and linked it with his mental illness.
When nothing worked to ease the pain, Maier-Clayton began to agitate, using social media and stories in traditional media outlets, for the right to end his own life, legally and with the assistance of a doctor.
‘Bill C-14 absolutely must be amended so that sufferers of refractory illness (both mental and physical) have the ability to decide for themselves if they wish to continue suffering and enduring their illness or not’
– Adam Maier-Clayton, advocate for assisted dying
Canada’s doctor-assisted dying law does not apply to patients with mental illness. The law only applies to adults in an…