Victoria’s Secret Model Becomes ‘Spokesperson’ for Controversial Issue

A Victoria’s Secret model is the subject of online discussion after publicly sharing the journey of her Canadian grandmother, who is terminally ill and wants to pursue what she describes as euthanasia.

Ali Tate Cutler traveled to Canada to visit her grandmother, who is a candidate for what is known in the country as medical assistance in dying (MAID), and filmed a series of videos asking her about the procedure that she then posted on her TikTok page.

Tate Cutler told Newsweek she wanted to challenge the “taboo” around talking about death.

The posts have garnered support and criticism as part of the debate about whether people have the right to choose how they die, and what the potential repercussions of expanding physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia might be.

Many of the online responses expressed empathy for Tate Cutler and her grandmother, with people sharing their own stories of loved ones’ excruciating battles with death in places where MAID wasn’t an option.

But others judged the model for her decision to publicly share her grandmother’s journey and questioned her grandmother’s decision.

“You know it’s all about clicks when you drag your grandma onto Instagram to talk about her up coming euthanasia,” one person tweeted.

You know it’s all about clicks when you drag your grandma onto Instagram to talk about her up coming euthanasia.— Bruce McGonigal (@bruce_mcgonigal) May 23, 2023

Tate Cutler told Newsweek that she didn’t expect the video to go viral when she posted it. She said she knew MAID was controversial but didn’t realize the depth of the debate. She said the response shows that people, especially in the West, believe death is a “taboo” subject.

“I can post makeup tutorials and fashion videos and get-ready-with-me, but when you start talking about something of substance that all of us are going to encounter or face one day, that’s when it’s too far,” she said.

Tate Cutler, who made news when she became the first plus-sized model employed by Victoria’s Secret in 2019, said the message behind the MAID discussion is about body sovereignty.

“This is happening around the world whether we like it or not. What body sovereignty means and how far it extends, if we want this to be available to us in our final moments, it’s something we need to continue talking about,” she said.

In one of the videos, Tate Cutler educates her followers on the procedure by asking her grandmother a series of questions. Her grandmother, whom Tate Cutler fondly calls “Bubbie,” referred to her upcoming MAID procedure the “light at the end of the tunnel.” Her grandmother, who has cancer, also explains what will happen on the day of the procedure.

Comments on the videos are supportive, calling the videos “bittersweet,” “heartbreaking” and “comforting.”

Canadian parliament approved federal legislation in 2016 legalizing MAID for eligible adults. A government website about MAID in Canada warns users that it contains distressing content.

Those eligible for MAID must meet each of the following qualifications: having a serious illness, disease or disability; be in an advanced state of decline that cannot be reversed; experience unbearable physical or mental suffering from the illness, disease or state of decline; and that the condition cannot be relieved under conditions considered acceptable to the patient.

There are two options for pursuing MAID: The physician directly administers the substance that causes death or prescribes a drug that the patient then administers themselves. Tate Cutler’s grandmother is choosing to have her procedure done at a hospital.

Although Tate Cutler’s grandmother is terminally ill, Canada does not require patients to have a terminal or fatal condition to qualify for MAID.

A recent poll by Research Co. found that 73 percent of Canadians supported the current MAID guidelines, with 20 percent believing the procedure should always be allowed for those who request it, regardless of illness. The poll found that 28 percent of Canadians believed the guidelines should be expanded to include homelessness, with 27 percent believing the same for poverty.

Patients struggling with mental illness are not eligible for the procedure through March 17, 2024, after the Canadian government introduced legislation to extend the temporary exclusion of eligibility for those patients.

According to the government website, in 2021, 10,064 deaths were due to MAID, accounting for 3.3 percent of Canadian deaths.

One thought on “Victoria’s Secret Model Becomes ‘Spokesperson’ for Controversial Issue

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  1. I have seen people dying for 10 years. Medical Science is really good at keeping you alive, but so much at keeping you healthy.
    When it comes the time that life is no longer a pleasure and I become a burden to my family, I hope somebody will help me depart this realm with no pain.

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