Saturday, January 28, 2023

Canada’s Euthanasia (MAiD) law is the most permissive in the world. How did this happen?

Alex Schadenberg
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s laws that protected people from euthanasia and assisted suicide. The case, known as the Carter case, was based on Kay Carter (89), who was not terminally ill but lived with spinal stenosis and died by assisted suicide in Switzerland, and Gloria Taylor, who lived with ALS.

At that time I wrote how the Supreme Court of Canada's decision was irresponsible and dangerous, but the Supreme Court did state that the federal government was to create a “carefully-designed system” with “stringent limits that are scrupulously monitored and enforced.” Clearly, the government ignored that requirement.

In 2016, while the federal government was debating euthanasia Bill C-14, there were many attempts to amend the bill or to define the language in the bill to fulfill the requirement of the Carter decision. The problem with Bill C-14 was evident, the bill gave doctors and nurse practitioners the right in law to cause the death of their patients, without defining the terminology within the law.

For instance, Bill C-14 stated that euthanasia would be restricted to people “whose natural death was deemed reasonably foreseeable.” The government claimed that this phrase would limit euthanasia to terminally ill people but because the phrase was not defined it created confusion.

Based on a lack of definition I predicted that the euthanasia law would expand based on the practise and the law would be interpreted in an expansive manner.

Soon after the passing of Bill C-14 a couple of people with disabilities launched court challenges to the legal requirement that that their “natural death must be deemed reasonably foreseeable.” They argued that it was discrimination to deny euthanasia to someone who is suffering but not terminally ill.

Even though the interpretation of “reasonably foreseeable” had expanded beyond its original interpretation, in September 2019, a Québec lower court struck down the requirement that a person’s death must be “reasonably foreseeable” in the Truchon decision. Even though this was a lower court decision, the federal government did not appeal the decision, thus expanding euthanasia to people who are not terminally ill.

The original law required that a person must have an “irremediable medical condition” combined with that their “natural death being reasonably foreseeable.” By removing the reasonably foreseeable death requirement, euthanasia became available to nearly anyone with a disability or chronic condition.

The federal government “codified” the Truchon decision into the law by passing Bill C-7 in March 2021. Bill C-7 removed from the original law that death must be “reasonable foreseeable” but C-7 also eliminated the 10-day waiting period for people who are terminally ill, it created a 90-day waiting period for those who are not dying and it permitted euthanasia for people with mentally illness. The government declared a two-year moratorium on euthanasia for mental illness, meaning that on March 17, 2023 euthanasia for mental illness could begin. On December 15, 2022 the federal government announced that they will delay the implementation of euthanasia for mental illness alone.

During the C-7 debate, the disability community were adamant that, if passed, it would lead to people with disabilities dying by euthanasia for social reasons. Due to a lack of definition in the law, they predicted that almost everyone with a disability would qualify for death yet the reason people would ask for death may be related to poverty, an inability to receive medical treatment and other social concerns.

Canada has the most permissive law.

In April, 2022; CTV news story reported on a euthanasia death in February 2022 of a 51-year-old woman who had multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). According to Favaro, the woman was not terminally ill but living with a chronic condition that made her highly sensitive to chemicals and environmental allergies. I stated that this story represented the ultimate form of abandonment whereby this woman was killed not because of an “irremediable medical condition” but because she couldn't afford appropriate housing.

Soon after CTV news reported on a 31-year-old woman with MCS who was also approved to be killed by euthanasia. These reports of euthanasia for MCS created awareness that euthanasia was becoming a “treatment” for people with disabilities who were living with poverty or issues related to housing or other social conditions. The good news was that this story resulted in a GoFundMe campaign that raised money to enable this woman to afford a clean place to live.

Donna Duncan's daughters
CTV news also reported that the euthanasia death of Donna Duncan was being investigated by the Abbotsford police. Duncan (61) was diagnosed with a concussion after a car accident in February 2020. Due to Covid restrictions, Duncan was unable to access medical treatment or rehabilitation. The concussion symptoms led to other health problems as well as deep depression. Duncan was assessed, approved and then died by euthanasia even though her condition was treatable.

After these stories were published, other stories began to be featured by reporters. There have been several stories concerning people who were approved for euthanasia but were unable to access medical treatment. Some of these people with disabilities required treatment for their symptoms and found that getting approved to be killed was easier than accessing treatment

Canada had now become the most permissive jurisdiction in the world for euthanasia and the world began to wonder why Canada is euthanizing the poor.

Another powerful story was the Canadian veteran who was seeking treatment for PTSD and a Veteran’s Affairs worker told him that he should apply for “MAiD.” When this story was reported, the Ministry of Veteran’s Affairs stated that it had only happened once. Since then it has been reported that several veterans died by euthanasia and at least 6 veterans were told to apply for “MAiD.”

There was the story of a disabled man who was seeking death by euthanasia to avoid homelessness. He was unable to find a new place to live after the building he was living in was sold. This man relied on a disability benefit and he was unable to find an affordable place to live. He said that he would rather die than become homeless. Thankfully a GoFundMe campaign raised enough money to enable him to find a place to live.

Alan Nichols with his brother

A woman with disabilities died by euthanasia based on inadequate home care, a 23-year-old with diabetes was approved for euthanasia, and the story of Alan Nichols keeps coming back as his family wonders why they killed their brother.

To make matters worse, the Quebec College of Physicians are now urging the federal government to legalize euthanasia for newborns, otherwise known as infanticide.

In a few short years Canada went from legalizing euthanasia for terminal illness, then extending it to people with chronic conditions and disabilities and Canada is now considering euthanasia from "mature minors," newborns, people with dementia and more.

There is only one clear line in the sand, that being, is it acceptable for one group of people to kill other people. By legalizing euthanasia, Canadian doctors and nurse practitioners gained the right in law to kill their patients. Once Canada decided that it was acceptable to kill, the only remaining questions are who can be killed and for what reasons. 

Further reading:

Friday, January 27, 2023

Vancouver doctor euthanized a man who was deemed unable to consent.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Ellen Wiebe
An article by Alexander Raikin published by The New Atlantic last December tells a story of Ellen Wiebe, who runs a euthanasia clinic in Vancouver. This part of the article refers to the fact that Canada's euthanasia law allows death doctor shopping and virtual approvals for death. Raikin wrote:

What if a doctor dutifully screens for eligibility, and rejects someone? Then the person can just go elsewhere.

In another CAMAP seminar recording, we learn of a man who was rejected for MAID because, as assessors found, he did not have a serious illness or the “capacity to make informed decisions about his own personal health.” One assessor concluded “it is very clear that he does not qualify.” But Dying with Dignity Canada connected him with Ellen Wiebe (pronounced “weeb”), a prominent euthanasia provider and advocate in Vancouver. She assessed him virtually, found him eligible, and found a second assessor to agree. “And he flew all by himself to Vancouver,” she said. “I picked him up at the airport, um, brought him to my clinic and provided for him,” meaning she euthanized him.
Raikin then reminds us that Wiebe has stated during public speaking this is “the most rewarding work we’ve ever done.” 

Killing a person who is deemed incompetent is the most rewarding work she has ever done?

Wiebe's long distance killing came back to mind when I published a commentary on the recent article by Erin Anderssen published by the Globe and Mail on January 18 concerns the experience of several families as they grieve the death of family members who died by euthanasia.

Anderssen shares the story of an Ontario woman who was approved for euthanasia in British Columbia without her family knowing. Anderssen wrote:
In Ontario, for instance, a father learned this fall that his adult daughter was being assessed for MAID when she forwarded an e-mail from a B.C. doctor proposing that she travel west to complete the process. By then a plane ticket had already been booked for November. Her parents, who had been caring for her since she was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a young woman, were distraught.

The father, whom The Globe and Mail is not identifying to protect his daughter’s privacy and his relationship with her, says he’d watched, over many months, as MAID consumed his daughter’s day; she pored over how-to information online.

His daughter’s life is not easy, he conceded in an interview. Her mental illness causes fearsome bouts of anger, she spends most of her time alone, and she is plagued by delusions that she is rotting inside from a terminal physical illness.

But certainly, he didn’t think she’d be eligible for an assisted death. While she has some physical health issues, he could not imagine they were serious enough to qualify for MAID....

So it was unfathomable, he says, that a physician was counselling his daughter, who suffers from psychosis, to travel alone halfway across the country. Or that two MAID assessors might approve her without insisting on input from her treating psychiatrist or family doctor. Yet the e-mail suggested an expeditious outcome: If she could get to B.C. – where ostensibly a physical illness might make her eligible – she could qualify within weeks.

The father doesn’t know what illness his daughter used to apply, and was not privy to all the discussions with the MAID clinician. But in the end, the parents managed to persuade their daughter to cancel the plane ticket.
There is no indication in the article that Ellen Wiebe in Vancouver was involved with this case but Wiebe admits to approving euthanasia online and picking up that person at the airport for being killed.
 
Remember, the case that Anderssen is writing about concerned a woman with schizophrenia. Wiebe approved her death even though parliament has a moratorium on euthanasia for mental illness.

 
Wiebe admitted last year that she had killed at least 400 people by euthanasia.  

Montana Bill (SB 210) prohibits assisted suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Over the past few years Montanans have had a confusing situation concerning assisted suicide. 

In 2009, the Baxter court decision declared that Montanans had a right to assisted suicide. The Baxter decision was appealed to the Montana Supreme Court where it was decided that Montanans do not have a right to assisted suicide but the Court found a defense of consent. Therefore, if a Montana physician assists a suicide the physician must prove that there was consent.

Physician-Assisted Suicide is not legal in Montana.

State Senator Carl Glimm
Since the Montana Supreme Court decision, the assisted suicide lobby has claimed that assisted suicide is legal in Montana. Even though assisted suicide is technically prohibited, Montanans have been dying by assisted suicide.

In 2023, Montana State Senator, Carl Glimm has introduced Bill SB 210 to reverse the effect of the Montana Supreme Court decision by clarifying that consent is not a defense for homicide or assisted suicide.

SB 210 states:

3 (a) For the purposes of subsection (2)(d), physician aid in dying is against public policy, and a patient's consent to physician aid in dying is not a defense to a charge of homicide against the aiding physician.

3 (b) (1) For the purposes of this subsection (3), "physician aid in dying" means an act by a physician of purposefully prescribing a lethal dose of medication to a patient that the patient may self-administer to end the patient's life.

3 (b) (ii) The term does not include an act of withholding or withdrawing a life-sustaining treatment or procedure authorized pursuant to Title 50, chapter 9 or 10."

SB 210 effectively closes the loophole and prevents assisted suicide in Montana.

Complicated grief: When a family member dies by euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


An article by Erin Anderssen published by the Globe and Mail on January 18 concerns the experience of several families as they grieve the death of family members who died by euthanasia. Anderssen begins with the story of Gary Hertgers:
Gary Hertgers learned that his sister, Wilma, had received a medically assisted death when her apartment manager called to say that her body was being carried out into the street.

“You mean, my sister is dead?” he asked.

“I thought you knew,” the manager said. “She told me the family knew.”

But, in fact, none of her immediate family knew that Ms. Hertgers had been approved for medical assistance in dying, let alone set a date. Not her 88-year-old mother, whom she called twice a day. Not her older brother, who lived one town over. And not Mr. Hertgers, 61, who had only that Friday, after driving the four hours to Chilliwack, B.C., shared a pot of tea at Ms. Hertgers’s kitchen table.
Gary Hertgers
Anderssen continues:
They’d chatted as usual, mostly about Ms. Hertgers’s health; at 63, she experienced chronic pain, and wrestled with depression. She told him the location of her will. But she had done that before, so the clue didn’t register. They parted with a hug. See you soon, he said.

Two days later, in the same apartment, someone said a prayer at her side while she died. At least, that’s what Mr. Hertgers was later told by the doctor who delivered the fatal medication. The identity of that person is still a mystery, like many of the details around his sister’s death.

When Canadians receive MAID, families and caregivers are often with them, providing comfort along the way. But the situation becomes much more fraught, ethically and emotionally, when patients don’t want relatives and friends involved.
Anderssen explains that Canada's MAiD law does not require the person requesting death to inform their family and the euthanasia assessor is also not required to speak to family, making it difficult to accurately assess a person who is asking to be killed.

Hertgers feels at a loss.
“You feel like you’re taken for granted, like the relationship you’ve built over all these years is superseded by someone who has known her a few months, that your care has been for naught,” says Mr. Hertgers. “At the end of the day, did all that time and effort mean anything?”
I have published several articles on the grief related to death by euthanasia. In October 2018 I received a call from a grieving woman after her grand-father died by euthanasia (Link).

Anderssen reports that some experts say that the role of families needs to be clarified before MAID extends to patients with mental illness. 
In December, responding to concerns raised by doctors and health care organizations, the federal government announced it would ask Parliament to delay the MAID expansion, to allow more time to establish clear safeguards. Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the country’s largest psychiatric teaching hospital, has suggested that should include more consultation with patients and their families.
Anderssen shares the story of an Ontario woman who was approved for euthanasia in British Columbia without her family knowing.
In Ontario, for instance, a father learned this fall that his adult daughter was being assessed for MAID when she forwarded an e-mail from a B.C. doctor proposing that she travel west to complete the process. By then a plane ticket had already been booked for November. Her parents, who had been caring for her since she was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a young woman, were distraught.

The father, whom The Globe and Mail is not identifying to protect his daughter’s privacy and his relationship with her, says he’d watched, over many months, as MAID consumed his daughter’s day; she pored over how-to information online.

His daughter’s life is not easy, he conceded in an interview. Her mental illness causes fearsome bouts of anger, she spends most of her time alone, and she is plagued by delusions that she is rotting inside from a terminal physical illness.

But certainly, he didn’t think she’d be eligible for an assisted death. While she has some physical health issues, he could not imagine they were serious enough to qualify for MAID....

So it was unfathomable, he says, that a physician was counselling his daughter, who suffers from psychosis, to travel alone halfway across the country. Or that two MAID assessors might approve her without insisting on input from her treating psychiatrist or family doctor. Yet the e-mail suggested an expeditious outcome: If she could get to B.C. – where ostensibly a physical illness might make her eligible – she could qualify within weeks.

The father doesn’t know what illness his daughter used to apply, and was not privy to all the discussions with the MAID clinician. But in the end, the parents managed to persuade their daughter to cancel the plane ticket.
It was likely the euthanasia clinic in Vancouver that was involved with this case. Dr Wiebe is reported to have approved euthanasia by Zoom and was willing to pick people up at the airport for being killed. 

Christopher Lyon
Anderssen then told the story of Dr Christopher Lyon father, who died by euthanasia in Victoria.
Before his father died, Dr. Lyon, an environmental social scientist, says his family tried to share what they consider to be important context for the MAID providers and assessors. When his father was first assessed for MAID, the family wrote up a detailed history of his physical ailments and mental health struggles, his alcohol use and personality quirks – and sent it to the office of the MAID co-ordinator. Dr. Lyon knew his father experienced bouts of depression, especially around negative events. Hospitalized after a fall, he now faced moving into an assisted-living apartment. He had been openly talking about suicide for months. The family expressed their opinion, however, that with time, social support and mental health care, their father would improve.

Even today, Dr. Lyon is not sure who read it. He doesn’t know the content of his father’s assessments, or what information was collected. He says the health authority has declined to release the full records, deeming it not to be in the “patient’s best interest.” A late-stage psychiatrist report that he has seen contained so many errors and omissions that he worries about what else was overlooked.

When the MAID provider phoned to give him 48 hours’ notice, it was the first time they had spoken. By then, Dr. Lyon and his family had been trying for weeks to find a solution to keep his 77-year-old father alive. They thought they had time; his chronic health conditions had qualified him for MAID as a non-terminal patient, which required a 90-day waiting period, and there was still a month to go. But his dad stopped eating a few days after moving, reluctantly, into the new apartment. He was admitted to hospital after another fall, and fast-tracked to receive an assisted death.

Dr. Lyon rushed to Victoria from Montreal, and on a sunny afternoon, he gathered at his father’s hospital bed with his two siblings, and his mother. He remembers that the MAID provider was running late. “We were just watching the clock tick down until someone was going to come and kill him, which is, you know, an excruciating, unbearable thing to experience.” Arriving, Dr. Lyon recalls, she said, “I hear it’s someone’s birthday,” as if joining a party; by awful chance, the procedure had been scheduled on a family member’s birthday. “Get me the hell out of here,” his father declared, giving his consent. He was dead 20 minutes later. His son still has nightmares about it.

“It was like some sick, dystopian Black Mirror or Squid Game,” Dr. Lyon says. “You, family member, have 90 days to convince a doctor, whose name you don’t know and cannot directly contact, to save your father’s life.” To pass on important information the patient might conceal. To scramble when the date is unexpectedly moved up. To make sure, before the lethal injection, that all options have been fully explored. It felt, he said, that “if we want to save our loved one’s life, we are actually in competition with the assessors and providers.
Duncan sisters
The article then tells the story of Donna Duncan who died by euthanasia in October 2021 after having a head injury from a car accident in 2020, that she didn't receive treatment for, due to Covid restrictions. The article states:
Christie Duncan, and her sister, Alicia, learned their mother, Donna, who lived near Abbotsford, B.C., was starting the MAID process when their mom’s husband texted them a link to a support group in October, 2021.

Their mom’s decline began after a car accident in early 2020, Christie says, and she was losing weight, without a clear diagnosis. But her daughters worried that the pandemic had made it hard to get treatment, and lockdowns had affected their mom’s mental health.

When they found out a MAID date had been set, the sisters successfully appealed to the courts for a delay. A few days later, Donna was admitted to hospital after cutting her wrist – an event her daughters hoped would postpone their mom’s assisted death indefinitely.

In the hospital, on Oct. 29, Christie says, “I hugged her goodbye, and I went home, thinking I will talk to my mom in the morning.” Donna was released a few hours later, and that night, her daughters received a text from her husband that their mom had received MAID, “as per her wishes.” (A police investigation, prompted after her daughters filed a complaint, did not find any evidence of criminality.)

The police investigation did not find evidence of criminality because Canada's euthanasia law makes it nearly impossible to prosecute any doctor or nurse practitioner for their role in a death. The law states that the doctor or nurse practitioner only need to be "of the opinion" that the person fits the criteria of the law. In all of these cases, the assessor was "of the opinion" that the person fit the criteria of the law.

Euthanasia is not a revocable decision once you are dead.

The grief associated with family members who have lost a loved one to euthanasia, is rarely discussed, but it is real. There have been many controversial euthanasia deaths in Canada that may have led to complicated grief. A study needs to be done concerning the grief associated with deaths by euthanasia.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Nine things to know about euthanasia for mental illness in Canada.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

CTV news Medical Correspondent, Avis Favaro, has provided in-depth investigative reports into euthanasia (MAiD) in Canada. Favaro does not oppose euthanasia but she has reported on the controversial deaths. The reporting that we have seen by Favaro has opened the door to a real debate on the reality of Canada's euthanasia law.

The recent W5 report titled: 9 things to know about euthanasia for mental illness provides an interesting insight into the direction in Canada to allow people to die by euthanasia for mental illness. It is also worthwhile to watch some of the interview video's that are connected to the article. 

This is my commentary on Favaro's - 9 things to know about euthanasia for mental illness.

1. It is part of the changes to the MAiD law that began in 2021.

Favaro explains that Bill C-7 expanded Canada's euthanasia law to include people who are not terminally ill and it also legalized euthanasia for mental illness. Bill C-7 established a two year moratorium on euthanasia for mental illness to study the issue. Favaro provides links to the Interim report on euthanasia for mental illness and the report from an "expert panel" on euthanasia for mental illness.

Favaro doesn't state that the interim report and the "expert panel" report did not provide specific direction for responding to requests for euthanasia for mental illness. The "expert panel" suggested that the current rules concerning euthanasia for people who are not terminally ill will suffice for people with mental illness. Members of the "expert panel" who disagreed with the majority opinion resigned when they were not offered an opportunity to provide a different perspective.

2. No specific type of mental disorder is excluded from qualifying for a medically assisted death.

Favaro states that: Like physical illnesses, a person asking for MAiD must be found by assessors to have a "grievous and irremediable" medical condition -- meaning a serious and incurable illness, disease or disability in an advanced state of irreversible decline with intolerable suffering.

Euthanasia for mental illness is loosely defined and would be available to anyone who is approved to be living with a "grievous and irremediable" condition, terms that are completely subjective. There would be a 90 day waiting period.

3. Defining an "incurable" mental illness isn't always easy.

Favaro states that the "expert panel" suggested that with euthanasia for mental illness that the second assessor should be a psychiatrist who is an expert in the mental disorder that the requestor has.

Favaro wrote that it is difficult to determine that the mental illness is "incurable" In fact, it is impossible to determine that the mental illness is incurable. Experts testified that some people with mental illness will not be cured but it is impossible to know if any one person with a mental illness is incurable.

The expert panel suggested that the psychiatrist be an expert in the concerning condition, but it does not make this an obligation. Further to that, Canada has long waiting lists for psychiatric treatment. It would be very difficult, and in some cases nearly impossible, to have the second assessor be a psychiatrist who is an expert in that condition.

4. As with all forms of medically assisted death, the patient's doctor, psychiatrist, or family don't have to be part of the decision, and may not know about the MAiD until after the person has died.

Favaro is correct when she states, that based on privacy, an assessor can only contact the family, a family physician, or a treating psychiatrist if the requestor agrees. People with treatable conditions can be killed even though the assessor lacks information due to privacy.

5. Additional mental health treatments can be recommended before a MAiD approval, but the patient can also say no to any additional therapy.

Canada's law does not require that a person attempt effective medical treatment before being approved for death by euthanasia, therefore, people with treatable conditions are being killed by euthanasia.

The Netherlands requires people, who have requested euthanasia for mental illness, to attempt all effective treatments before being approved for death. This policy does not force them to attempt treatments, it only states that if someone wants to die by euthanasia they must be willing to attempt effective treatment.

6. People can have a medically assisted death even while they’re waiting for treatment.

Since Canada does not require a person to attempt effective treatment, a person can be approved to be killed, even though they are waiting for treatment.

This is particularly concerning for people who are approved for death based on a mental illness. The waiting lists for receiving psychiatric care are long. A person could be approved for death even though they have not received treatment for their condition. The same problem exists for people with disabilities and people with other chronic conditions.

7. Some doctors are calling it state-sanctioned suicide.

Many leading psychiatrists have testified that their patients with mental illness live with suicidal ideation. Killing a patient by lethal injection because they have suicidal ideation is like saying the treatment for suicidal ideation is death.

8. Some experts believe the number of MAiD deaths among those with mental disorders is likely to be low while others believe it will be high.

Data shows that a small number of euthanasia deaths in Belgium and the Netherlands, where euthanasia for mental illness is permitted are for mental illness. The data from 2021 Belgian euthanasia report indicates that of the 2700 reported euthanasia deaths, 45 were based on psychiatric conditions. The data from the 2021 Netherlands euthanasia report indicated that of the 7666 reported euthanasia deaths 115 were based on psychiatric conditions. Canada had more than 10,000 reported euthanasia deaths in 2021.

Favaro is correct when she states that Canada will likely permit euthanasia for mental illness without requiring the requester to attempt effective treatment. It is likely that Canada's percentage of euthanasia deaths for mental illness will be higher than the Netherlands and Belgium.

9. In the past mental illness hasn't prevented a person from accessing assisted dying.

It is true that Canadians with mental illness are dying by euthanasia based on also having a terminal or chronic medical condition. In the case of euthanasia for mental illness it is impossible to determine if a person with mental illness alone has an irremediable medical condition.

More articles on euthanasia for mental illness:

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Homeless man seeks death by euthanasia. He feels hopeless.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Tyler Dunlop
A homeless man in Orillia Ontario is seeking to die by (MAiD) euthanasia.

Greg McGrath-Goudie wrote an article published by Orillia Matters on January 23, 2023 about Tyler Dunlop (37), a homeless man seeking to die by euthanasia in Canada. McGrath-Goudie reports:
One man from Orillia... has begun the MAID process for an entirely separate set of reasons. Due to what he sees as the state of the world, along with his circumstances and growing frustration with his lived experience, Tyler Dunlop says he simply sees no benefit in carrying on.

The 37-year-old has experienced homelessness on and off for the past 12 years, and he recently began the MAID process with a trip to Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.
McGrath-Goudie reports that Dunlop is refusing services and support because he wants to die by euthanasia.
His resolve to seek out MAID is so strong he refused the hospital’s offer to admit him for a psychiatric assessment.

“I refused services to get my point across. I refused shelter, shower, food,” Dunlop said. “They were going to give it to me, but if I did that, they would know that I'm just a homeless guy.”

Dunlop’s current battle with homelessness began in June 2022, when he found his roommate – and work supervisor – dead inside their apartment.

The landlord gave him five days to move out, Dunlop said, and he’s been on the streets, struggling to get back on his feet ever since.

Dunlop explains that social isolation is the worst feeling.

“The worst feeling is social isolation. People don't talk to you. They avoid you. They think you want something,” Dunlop told OrilliaMatters.

“The situation is getting so unbearable,” he said. “When I read about medically assisted dying I thought, well, logistically, I really don't have a future.”

Dunlop tells McGrath-Goudie that he thinks he will be approved to die based on "equality":

“There's just no direction, no aid. There's no incentive to keep living and contribute to society at all,” he said. “I looked at my future and I said, ‘What am I going to be in the next 10 years?’ Same thing: wandering around homeless.”

MAID was originally set to be available for mental illness purposes beginning March 17, 2023. However, in December, the federal government announced plans to temporarily delay this date.

Dunlop hopes to successfully pursue this path as an issue of “equality."
Dunlop says that he doesn't want to die, but he feels that there is no hope.
Despite his wishes, Dunlop said he sometimes daydreams about having a wife and a child.

If he had safe, stable housing, if he saw any hope of escaping his situation and helping others, he said he would give life another chance, but he does not have that hope for himself.

“If I can help people, well, that's good enough reason to stay, but I feel useless. That's why I want to do this: I'm hurting people. I'm hurting myself. I'm hurting society,” he said.

“This isn't self-pity and self-loathing – I'm seriously using up too much emergency services. Failure is consistent and I'm trying to get out of this hamster wheel, and I can't do it.”

In order to proceed with MAID, Dunlop said he has to get two signatures from two different psychiatrists. He said he has his first appointment on Jan. 31.
The article ends by stating that 235,000 people live with homelessness in Canada.

Sadly this is not the first case of euthanasia based on homelessness. Several months ago a man in the Niagara region also sought euthanasia for homelessness. Hopefully Tyler Dunlop will find help to live.

Links to more stories of the euthanasia experience in Canada:
  • No other options: An exposé on euthanasia in Canada (Link).
  • Toronto Star: We need to put the brakes on euthanasia (Link).
  • Globe and Mail: No to euthanasia for mental disorders (Link).
  • Veterans affairs worker advocates euthanasia for PTSD (Link).
  • Canadian man claims that he was pressured to request euthanasia (Link).
  • Why did they kill my brother (Link).
  • Manitoba woman died by euthanasia based on inadequate home care (Link).
  • Quebec man seeks euthanasia based on changes to home care (Link). 
  • Alberta man requests euthanasia based on poverty (Link).
  • Ontario man approved for euthanasia because he can't get medical treatment (Link).
  • Shopping for doctor death in Canada (Link).
  • Gwen is seeking euthanasia because she can't access medical treatment (Link).
  • Euthanasia for disability and poverty (Link).
  • Euthanasia for Long Covid and poverty (Link).
  • Canada's MAiD law is the most permissive in the world. (Link).

Monday, January 23, 2023

Hawaii House Bill 650 to expand assisted suicide law.

Hawaii is the best example of how the assisted suicide lobby will support a "tight" bill to legalize assisted suicide and the next year introduce a bill to eliminate "restrictions."

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Hawaii legislature
Hawaii House Bill 650 (HB 650) would expand Hawaii's assisted suicide law by reducing the waiting period, allowing non-physicians to approve assisted suicide and expanding who can counsel someone for assisted suicide.

HB 650 is not a surprise since a similar bill was debated but not passed in Hawaii last year.

Hawaii debated and defeated assisted suicide bills almost every year. In 2018, the sponsor of the Hawaii assisted suicide bill included more restrictions than the Oregon law and sadly, the bill passed.

The very first Hawaii's assisted suicide report (2019) included a push to remove certain restrictions in the law. I stated in my commentary that:

Even though assisted suicide was legal for less than one year, the assisted suicide lobby is promoting two options for expanding the assisted suicide law.
Hawaii is the best example of how the assisted suicide lobby will support a "tight" bill to legalize assisted suicide and next year introduce a bill to eliminate "restrictions."

Today I read Rhode Island assisted suicide bill (H 5210) which is similar to the New York State assisted suicide bill. The assisted suicide lobby has introduced a tradition style assisted suicide bill, with the hope of it passing, and then they will push to widen the bill in the following years.

Last week I wrote about New York State's assisted suicide Assembly Bill 995 (A00995) and Senate Bill S2445 that are based on the original Oregon assisted suicide law. The New York assisted suicide lobby failed to legalize assisted suicide in the past so they are attempting to legalize assisted suicide with tighter restrictions and in the near future they will push for expansions of the law.

There is only one line in the sand. It is either legal to kill by assisted suicide or not. Once assisted suicide is legal we are only debating the reasons to kill and who can do the killing.

Bills remove assisted suicide residency requirement in Oregon and Vermont.

Alex Schadenberg
"Removing the residency requirement permits every American to die by assisted suicide."
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The goal of the assisted suicide lobby is to legalize assisted suicide for everyone.

On January 9, the Oregon legislature introduced House Bill 2279 to amend the Oregon assisted suicide act by removing the state residency requirement. 

On January 20, the Vermont legislature introduced Senate Bill 26 to amend the Vermont assisted suicide act by removing the state residency requirement.

Removing the residency requirement in Oregon and Vermont will permit every American to die by assisted suicide and turn Oregon and Vermont into suicide tourist states. The assisted suicide lobby realizes that many states will not legalize assisted suicide, so they are forcing the states that have legalized assisted suicide to provide death for every American.

A little background.

In October 2021, Compassion and Choices and Dr Nicholas Gideonse, an assisted suicide prescribing doctor, launched a court case challenging the Oregon assisted suicide residency requirement. The assisted suicide lobby wants to eliminate assisted residency requirements to permit death by assisted suicide for every American. (Link to news article). 

Instead of defending the residency requirement the Oregon goverment agreed to remove the residency requirement. A March 29, 2022 Associated Press article by Gene Johnson reported:

Oregon will no longer require people to be residents of the state to use its law allowing terminally ill people to receive lethal medication, after a lawsuit challenged the requirement as unconstitutional.

Compassion and Choices announced that they would pressure other states that had legalized assisted suicide to also eliminate their residency requirement.

On August 26, 2022, a lawsuite was launched by Compassion and Choices, an assisted suicide lobby group, on behalf of a woman in Connecticut and a doctor in New York challenging Vermont's assisted suicide law residency requirement.

According to the Concord Monitor:

Lynda Bluestein, 75, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who has terminal fallopian tube cancer, and Dr. Diana Barnard, of Middlebury, Vermont, argue in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Burlington that Vermont’s residency requirement violates the U.S. Constitution.

Barnard said in the lawsuit that she would like to be able to offer the end-of-life option to her patients who live in New York. The two women have been advocates on the issue in New York and Connecticut, which currently have no laws in place to allow for medically assisted suicide.

This was the second state to face a legal challenge to force them to allow suicide tourism. Senate Bill 26 means that Vermont is not willing to defend their assisted suicide residency requirement.

We need to be clear. Assisted suicide laws give medical professionals the right in law to cause death by prescribing lethal prescriptions to people with suicidal ideation. These laws provide death not care. We need a caring society.

Organ Donation: Why My Heart's Not In It Anymore

by Kathleen Larimer

On October 5, 2001 my husband and I lost our 18-year-old son to brain death after a car accident. His name was Tom, and we consented to donate his organs and tissues.

Having carried the special organ donor symbol on our own driver's licenses for many years, my husband and I thought we understood what we were consenting to.

But then 13 days later, on the morning of October 18th, we got a phone call from the organ procurement coordinator informing us that they had been unable to recover any or our son's organs or tissues, and the explanation we were given for this outcome was that although they got him to the operating room, his heart stopped on the table before they even made an incision.

This was when and how my husband and I began to realize that brain death is not true death, and just when we thought our hearts couldn't be anymore broken, they were.

I have since written a book about our experience titled: "Organ Donation: Why My Heart's Not In It Anymore" which is available free on-line through Delphi Forums (Link to the book).

I chose to put my book in the format of a forum to not only make it accessible to as many people as possible, but to also provide a place for reader comments, questions, and to just generally encourage the kind of free-flowing discussion about brain death and organ donation--pro AND con--that I think is long overdue.

Although organ donation is everything those who promote it say it is, there is another side to the story that they never tell, and it is my hope that the information and insight contained in my book and forum will help others be more fully informed than my husband and I were, or that it will at least serve as a catalyst for them to look into it more thoroughly on their own.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Cameron Larimer, Author (aka, Forum Host "KATHY_OAK) "Organ Donation: Why My Heart's Not In It Anymore"

https://forums.delphiforums.com/n/nav/start.asp?webtag=OrganDonorStory