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Canada’s push for medically assisted suicide

For those who are unaware, Canada has been providing medically assisted suicide since 2016 and is among 8 countries that fully or partially allow it, writes Susan Bates in her article for the Deseret News.

“Canada’s law is considered among the most expansive, and has some of the fewest safeguards for patients,” Bates added.

It is officially called Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) and according to reports, over 10,000 Canadian were given this assistance in 2021. This was a 32% increase over 2020.

But there have been concerns about what is going on after a Canadian veteran stated he was pressured by an employee at Veterans Affairs Canada to use MAID to end his life.

What was equally disturbing is that the man, who suffered from PTSD hadn’t brought up the issue and according to Global News, the government employee continued pushing it even after the man had said he wasn’t interested. READ: Ottawa orders ‘full and thorough’ probe into veteran assisted dying discussion

The Deseret News provides some other stories:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the incident [involving the veteran] “unacceptable,” and said there would be a full investigation. 

Trudeau was less responsive to an AP report that detailed how the poor and disabled were encouraged to consider assisted suicide by Canadian hospital personnel. The article describes the experience of Sean Tagert, who had Lou Gehrig’s disease and was struggling to get the expensive home care he needed. Before his death by assisted suicide, he was trying to raise money to buy medical equipment so he could be cared for in his home. 

A man with degenerative brain disease, Roger Foley, said he was repeatedly pressured by hospital staff to consider assisted suicide because of the cost of his care. In a recorded conversation he shared with AP, he was told by the hospital’s director of ethics that the cost of his care was “north of $1,500 a day,” to which Foley replied that the conversation about cost felt like coercion.  

READ: Perspective: Want to see the ‘slippery slope’ of assisted suicide? Look north

RELATED story from Britain: Why is Canada euthanising the poor?

At this point, Canadians with serious medical issues can request MAID, but next year, the Trudeau government will allow those with mental health issues to request it. THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT’S WEBSITE: Medical Assistance in dying

So why the big push?

Well, the Canadian government’s state-owned and taxpayer-funded broadcaster, CBC, provided one reason:

New research suggests medically assisted dying could result in substantial savings across Canada’s health-care system.

Doctor-assisted death could reduce annual health-care spending across the country by between $34.7 million and $136.8 million, according to a report published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on Monday.

The savings exceedingly outweigh the estimated $1.5 to $14.8 million in direct costs associated with implementing medically assisted dying.

READ: Medically assisted deaths could save millions in health care spending: Report

Meanwhile, in California

California is one of 11 states that allow medically assisted suicide in the US, and a recent court case determined that the government can not compel Christian doctors to assist in the procedure.

READ: Court: California cannot compel Christian doctors to participate in assisted suicide

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Canada’s push for medically assisted suicide — Open the Word | Vermont Folk Troth

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