Thursday, March 28, 2019

Ontario euthanasia deaths increase by 78% in 2018.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.


Last week I published an article explaining that the euthanasia "MAiD" deaths increased by more than 50% in 2018 from 2704 reported assisted deaths in 2017 to 4235 reported assisted deaths in 2018. The data was gleaned from a presentation by Jocelyn Downie for the Council of Canadian Academies on March 15, 2019 and from the data from the earlier federal government reports.
 

An article published in the Medicine Hat News stated that the Alberta Coroner reported that there were 205 reported assisted deaths in 2017 and 307 reported assisted deaths in 2018, a 50% increase.

I wondered why the federal government had not released the "MAiD" data and how Downie had accessed the data. I decided to send emails to several Provincial Coroner's offices requested the "MAiD" data. In response to my request, Roxanne Halko, Team Lead (MAID), Nurse Investigator from the Office of the Chief Coroner in Ontario sent me the "MAiD" data for Ontario, the largest Province in Canada. 

The 2018 Ontario report states that there were 2529 reported assisted deaths since legalization (June 17, 2016), the 2017 report stated there had been 1030 reported assisted deaths since legalization and the first federal government Interim report stated that there were 189 reported assisted deaths in 2016.

Therefore, according to the Ontario Coroner's office there were 1499 reported assisted deaths in 2018, 841 reported assisted deaths in 2017 and 189 reported assisted deaths in 2016.

I refer to reported assisted deaths since, according to the recent Quebec report, there were 142 unaccounted assisted deaths in Québec and according to a recent study, approximately 23% of the Netherlands assisted deaths are not reported.

According to the Ontario data, 2528 were done by lethal injection (euthanasia) and 1 was done by assisted suicide (lethal prescription).

The 2017 data indicates that 82% of the assisted deaths were done by a provider who did not have a relationship with the person who died. The 2018 report omits that data.

Since the federal government has been slow in releasing data, we will continue to search for more Canadian assisted death data.

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