Friday, July 31, 2020

Belgium law violated to kill depressed woman by euthanasia. Here is the evidence.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Leone Groti, reporting for reports on the case of Godelieva de Troyer, the depressed Belgian woman who died by euthanasia in Belgium. (Google translated from Italian).

Godelieva de Troyer
Doctors who authorized and then carried-out Godelieva de Troyer's euthanasia in Belgium on April 19, 2012 repeatedly violated the law on euthanasia. The incredible case pending before the European Court of Human Rights, told in detail by Tempi in the March 2019 issue, came to a turning point after the Belgian government was forced to file the form completed by the doctor who killed the 64-year-old woman. The four-page document, submitted as per regulation to the Commission of Control of Euthanasia, charged in Belgium to verify compliance with the law, has been kept hidden for seven years. The form, as is indicated at, which obtained a copy in consultation, confirms the violation of the law in black and 
white which since 2002 has caused the death of 19,420 people (data updated to 2018, latest communication available), an average more than 3 people a day.

The Two Months Late
Madame de Troyer was not dying or suffering from an incurable condition. However, she had suffered since she was 19 of depression, exacerbated in the last period of her life, as well as the suicide of her ex-husband, the breakdown of the relationship with her new partner and an often stormy relationship with her children. The case was brought to the Strasbourg Court by the son of the woman, Tom Mortier, after Belgian courts refused to initiate a trial. Mortier, who was kept in the dark about the euthanasia process, learned of the mother's death from a letter written by her and delivered to him on April 20, 2012, the day after her death.
Tom Mortier (son)
The "euthanasia registration form" number 607/12 was completed by the physician who killed de Troyer, Wim Distelmans, oncologist, professor of palliative care at the Free University of Brussels and above all a pioneer of euthanasia in Belgium, as well as Chairman of the Euthanasia Control Commission. Article 5 of the law provides that the forms must be completed after euthanasia has taken place and sent to the Control Commission "within four working days" from the injection. De Troyer was killed on April 19, but as the date stated on the form says, it was received by the commission only on June 20, more than two months late.

No "Independent Doctors"

Wim Distelmans
The law also requires that the doctor, before authorizing euthanasia, must consult two other doctors, who must be "independent of each other and with respect to the patient". On page 4, the form states that the first of the two doctors consulted is "a doctor in palliative care" belonging to the "Leif organization". The End of Life Information Forum is a pro euthanasia organization specializing in providing information on how to achieve "good death" and training doctors and nurses. Anyone can visit the Leif website and check the name of the president: Wim Distelmans.

Not only was there no independence between the doctor who killed de Troyer and the first consulted specialist. The second consulted doctor, a psychiatrist also "belongs to Leif", as it is written on page 4 of the form. As if the interdependence of the three doctors was not enough, before receiving the injection the woman made a bank transfer of 2,500 euros to the organization with the reason "Thanks to the Leif staff".

Dates Do Not Come Back

Violations of the law don't end there. As can be seen on page 2 of the form, the request for euthanasia was made by de Troyer on February 14th. Yet the legal consultation with the second "independent" doctor, the psychiatrist, took place almost a month earlier, on January 17, 2012. How is this possible? The law also provides that the doctor must ensure that the patient's request is "voluntary, well considered and repeated over time". In addition, the physician must have "numerous conversations with the patient over a reasonable period of time." From the day of the request to the day of the execution, however, barely 58 days pass, not even two months.

The amount of errors and violations is such that it is impossible not to notice it, yet the Euthanasia Control Commission that has viewed the form has decreed that everything has been done in compliance with the law. How is it possible? Could the Commission have been influenced by the fact that the material author of euthanasia, Wim Distelmans, is also the President of the Commission itself? And if so, how can this independent Commission be defined?

Conflict Of Interest

Here, too, there are at least two elements that do not return. In reply to the questions of the Strasbourg judges in writing, the Belgian Government stated that the approval of the case had been voted "unanimously" by the Commission. When the lawyers for Tom Mortier denounced the conflict of interest, the government explained that according to practice, if a member of the Commission is involved in the case of euthanasia examined, he remains silent.

But if Distelmans remained silent, how could he have voted? And how can this practice guarantee that there is no conflict of interest? At the same time that Distelmans had suddenly gone silent, would everyone have understood that the case concerned him and who would have dared to vote against the president and consequently send the file to the Belgian prosecutor's office to investigate him and put him on trial? It is difficult to think that there is no undue influence and pressure in the process of reviewing cases of euthanasia.

The Most Serious Problem

One last problem emerges from the form, perhaps the most serious. It states in fact that with Mrs de Troyer "all treatment attempts have been exhausted. The unbearable psychological suffering "can no longer" be cured ". The patient is also said to be "terrified that euthanasia does not happen" and "extremely happy that her suffering will finally end".

In Madame de Troyer's diaries, however, we read: "I miss my grandchildren so much. I won't see them grow and this pains me." And again: "I feel frustration and sadness because I have not been able to build a bond." The reference to grandchildren and children makes it clear that the difficulty of relating to the children was at the basis of the last phase of the depression of the woman, followed instead by a positive period. How then can the doctor say that depression cannot be cured and that "all medical avenues" have been explored, if he has never tried to make them restore their relationship with their children, as testified by one of them, Tom Mortier, authorizing his death within two months of the request?

The Right To Life Is Not Protected

All material and questions are now in the hands of the European Court for Human Rights, which will have to determine whether Belgium's euthanasia law has violated Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which sanctions: "The right to life of every person is protected by law", especially when this is in conditions of vulnerability, as in the case of de Troyer. They will also need to determine if Tom Mortier's right to respect for family life has been violated.

As Mortier 's attorney Robert Clarke, who is part of the Adf International legal group, declared to, "the Belgian government has until September to present further arguments, then the Court will decide. The sentence is expected to arrive in 6-12 months. Regardless of what they may say, it is clear that Belgium has not protected de Troyer's right to life, that the law on euthanasia has been violated and that the Audit Commission does not act independently." If the case is full of obscure points, at least one has been clarified: it is now evident why the Euthanasia Commission refused to show the de Troyer case form for seven years.

Hawaii 2019 assisted suicide report urges removal of safeguards.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Hawaii assisted suicide law came into effect on January 1, 2019. The 2019 Hawaii assisted suicide ("Our care, our choice act") report indicates that in the first year of assisted suicide:
  • 30 people were prescribed lethal drugs, 
  • 15 people died by assisted suicide,
  •  8 people received a lethal prescription died but did not die by assisted suicide, and
  • 7 people remained alive at the end of 2019.
Since the 2019 Hawaii assisted suicide report was released on July 1 the report also includes preliminary data for 2020 indicating that from January 1 to June 26, 2020, 24 people were prescribed lethal drugs and 13 people died by assisted suicide.

The Hawaii Department of Health urges the government to remove safeguards.

In the final paragraph of the 2019 report the Hawaii Department of Health recommends the following changes to the assisted suicide law:
  1. Waiver of any waiting periods if the attending provider and consulting provider agree that patient death is likely prior to the end of the waiting periods.
  2. Given access to health care providers is limited, the DOH recommends authorizing advance practice registered nurses to serve as attending providers for patients seeking medical aid in dying.
The Department of Health recommendations follow the direction of the assisted suicide lobby who are lobbying for the removal of safeguards. On January 1, 2019, the assisted suicide lobby stated that assisted suicide laws contain too many safeguards. In 2019, the Oregon legislature expanded their assisted suicide law by waiving the 15 day waiting period.

Even though assisted suicide was legal for less than one year, the assisted suicide lobby promoted two options to expand the assisted suicide law. The Hawaii legislature debated bills SB 2582 and HB 2451 to expand the assisted suicide law by:

  • permitting nurses to prescribe lethal drugs,
  • shortening the waiting period in general, and 
  • waiving the waiting period when someone is "nearing death."
The Hawaii legislature also debated bill SB 3047 that would have expanded the assisted suicide law by:
  • allowing assisted suicide for incompetent people through advanced directives,
  • waiving the counseling requirement, 
  • approving assisted suicide by "telehealth" and 
  • requiring insurance companies to pay for assisted suicide.
When Hawaii legislators debated assisted suicide, in 2018, the safeguards in the bill were proposed to get legislators to vote YES to assisted suicide. It appears that the assisted suicide lobby got the assisted suicide bill passed with the intention of quickly expanding it.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Patients can no longer assume that doctors are committed to protecting life.

Gordon Friesen
By Gordon Friesen.

Throughout the long Canadian discussions, court cases, and legislative compromises, which eventually resulted in mandating physician “assisted” death, there has often been a comfortable tendency for people to think that euthanasia is merely another clinical procedure; that its influence could be restricted to certain unusual and well-defined circumstances; that it could be simply added to existing medical practice without changing the care and services which we have come to expect and rely upon; that no change in the relation of confidence between patient and physician would result. Or as some have made the case: that for those not personally requesting euthanasia, there would be no effect whatsoever.

Clearly, however, reason and experience have demonstrated that such is not the case.

Ideas have consequences

The practice of euthanasia is justified by a set of moral principles, medical and social, which are entirely at odds with those from which doctors have traditionally taken their inspiration in providing compassionate personal healthcare. In a medical sense: Philosophy translates to practice. Different philosophy means a different medicine -- and different doctors to provide it. For to be quite clear upon this point: those doctors who are now operating under alternative philosophical assumptions which permit the practice of euthanasia, can not, will not, and do not, provide the same sort of medical care as those, other doctors, who have chosen to continue, faithful, to earlier Hippocratic tradition.

Specifically, patients in this new environment, can no longer assume that doctors are unconditionally committed to protecting life.

The introduction of euthanasia, then, has illuminated a monumental shock of ideological principle within the medical industry. And although the details of that clash may still find many of us lacking in curiosity, or passion, I believe that this situation is about to change, as we become increasingly aware of the real-world consequences. It is not the case, for instance, that the nature of medical practice affects only the “vulnerable” among us. In a hospital bed, everyone is vulnerable. The nature of medical practice, therefore, affects us all.

The iconic case of Bill Peace 

Professor William Peace (center)
Many reading this article will be familiar with the career of William Peace (1961 – 2019), erstwhile executive member of Not Dead Yet, who unfortunately passed away last year, due to the complications of ongoing wound problems. I personally made contact with Bill some years ago, when his Bad Cripple blog first jumped out in my web browser. I now wish I had had more interactions with him. That is always the way of it. Last week, I looked him up for advice on some subject, and sadly, he was gone.

William Peace was a handicapped individual from childhood. In certain places and at certain times, there would have been significant opinion in favor of simply abandoning a child like Bill. But that did not happen. From his auto-biographical passages, we see that his family supported him and they found doctors willing to do whatever could be done, also, encouraging their young patient to persevere through very difficult courses of treatment, with very uncertain prognoses.

As a result of this severe upbringing, in support of his own natural talents, William Peace was able to function at a very high level of social performance, to gain an advanced education and to undertake an influential academic career. However, in 2010, he suffered a serious wound episode, of a sort which has precipitated the deaths of uncounted seated wheelchair users, including among others, Christopher Reeve (1952 – 2004) (more widely known to movie audiences as “Superman” (1978)).

The point of this story, is to highlight the attitude of the doctor who was assigned to the wound case of Bill Peace.

How the attending physician proposed to “treat” Bill Peace
 Visiting his patient in the dead of night (according to the author’s own account), this doctor immediately set in on trying to convince Bill that treatment would be useless. Better, he advised, to make him comfortable and “let nature take its course”.

Now there are those who would maintain that this advice reflects best Hippocratic practice (“do no harm”) and also, an admirably modern palliative approach where the terminal patient would be spared useless and invasive treatments. However, I think we can safely consign this episode to another medical strategy entirely, which is to say, “stealth euthanasia”. And the reason I make this charge is that this patient was by no means terminal!

As we know, Bill actually survived another 9 years, touching countless lives through his writing, his presentations, his videos, and his organizational presence in the disabled rights community. There would be, perhaps, a reasonable case for accepting, with regret, the self-motivated decision of some hypothetical individual (in a case similar to Bill’s) to withdraw themselves from active therapy. However, to attempt to persuade (and according to the account given : objectively to bully) a patient in such a case... for THAT behavior, there is no Hippocratic or Palliative rationale. And had the doctor actually succeeded in convincing Bill Peace to withdraw from active treatment, that doctor would effectively have killed the man, as certainly as if he had employed a poison-laden syringe to do so.

Two types of medicine, and two types of doctor

In the life of this one man, then, we see the influence of two VERY different sorts of medical professionals. For on the one hand, are doctors who give their patient the benefit of the doubt; who believe that the patient always deserves “a shot” at survival; and who, even in the grimmest of prognoses, are in no hurry to deliberately pull the plug. These are doctors for whom the question of shortening life never even arises because they are devoted to a medical model which excludes that possibility, and who are therefore free of the disabling doubts that always surround it. On the other, we have doctors who, when the outlook begins to look problematic (and resource intensive), are all for hastening death; not only in deferring to a (perhaps less than convincing) death wish; but in actively debating the patient regarding the value of his or her own clearly affirmed intent to survive.

And again, this was before the time of legal euthanasia as such. Because, as stated, euthanasia is not merely a procedure: it is the embodiment and validation of a pre-existing philosophical principle. However, whereas in the old days it was understood that killing patients was a “bad” thing (simply defined as murder, in fact), legal euthanasia today (that is to say for us in Canada: universally mandated, and institutionally normalized euthanasia), has made killing patients a positive virtue. And whereas the doctor in the Bill Peace case was still limited to surreptitiously attempting “euthanasia by stealth”, today’s professionals stand ready to propose, and to accomplish the act, in a completely open and (officially) ethical manner.

A new urgency for all

Such is the effect, then -- now entirely obvious -- of the general penetration of certain utilitarian ideas in our medical culture. It is true that these ideas were, as we have noticed, already long present among a minority of practitioners. The difference, however, is that with the universal implementation of euthanasia throughout our monopoly healthcare system, these ideas have become objectively dominant in Canada.

There is, therefore, no further excuse (and increasingly less appetite one would also hope), for politely ignoring these facts. We are all patients; and ever more frequently, these are our doctors.

In short, it has become high time for all of us to ask: What are the effects of these medical changes upon ME? And when I or a loved one is (inevitably) taken to hospital: WHICH SORT OF DOCTORS WILL I ENCOUNTER THERE?

Gordon Friesen, is a Euthanasia Prevention Coalition board member and Advisory Assistant Physicians’ Alliance Against Euthanasia Montreal, Quebec,


Post Scriptum : It seems quite extraordinary that William Peace does not have a Wikipedia page (where so many lesser lights are to be found). It would be most appropriate to remedy this situation.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

EPC August 5 free webinar update.

Stop euthanasia and assisted suicide

Watch the webinar (Link).

Join the EPC free webinar with Alex Schadenberg

Wednesday, August 5th at: 2 pm (EST)

Email: for the webinar information.

Topics will include:

  • Analysis of the Canadian (MAiD) euthanasia and assisted suicide data,
  • Analysis of the California, Hawaii, and New Jersey assisted suicide data,
  • Canada's Bill C-7, 
  • Delta Hospice Society update, 
  • The Netherlands "Completed Life" debate, 
  • Some recent stories.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Italian assisted suicide court decisions focus on people with disabilities.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

An Italian court has acquitted assisted suicide activists Marco Cappato and Mina Welby in the assisted suicide death of Davide Trentini in the April 2017 Dignitas assisted suicide clinic death in Switzerland.

Cappato and Welby, who are leaders of the Luca Coscioni assisted suicide Association in Italy, turned themselves into Italian authorities the day after Trentini died by assisted suicide in order to challenge the law.

The judgement does not directly challenge the law.

The judge decided that they did not break the law because they did not instigate the act. Based on this decision, the law continues to apply to someone, such as a physician, who instigates the act.

Last December a Milan court acquitted Italian assisted suicide activist, Marco Cappato, in the assisted suicide death of Fabiano Antoniani (known as DJ Fabo), in February 2017. Similar to Trentini, Antoniani died at the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland

The decision in the Fabiano Antoniani case was also unclear.

What is clear is that both assisted suicide deaths concerned people with disabilities. Davide Trentini was living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Fabiano Antoniani experienced a spinal cord injury in a serious car accident in June 2014.

I am very concerned with the direction of the Italian court decisions that appear to suggest that certain lives are not worth living.

Hundreds of Sick Canadians Euthanized for Loneliness

This article was published by National Review online on July 28, 2020

Wesley Smith
By Wesley J Smith

Good grief. We are told that euthanasia is “compassion.” But how compassionate is it when last year in Canada, hundreds of sick people were euthanized because of loneliness? 

Article: Canada MAiD report: 26% increase in 2019 euthanasia deaths. The hidden story of abuse (Link).

The country’s 2019 MAID [medical assistance in dying] Annual Report found that 13.7 percent of the 5,631 Canadians killed by doctors asked to be lethally injected because of “isolation or loneliness.” If my math is right, that’s about 771 people, or 64 a month, or two per day. Good grief!

Some of the other reasons people gave for asking to be killed:
  • Loss of ability to engage in enjoyable activities, 82.1 percent. That’s a serious concern, but with proper interventions, it can be overcome.
  • Loss of ability to perform activities of daily living, 78.1 percent. Ditto.
  • “Inadequate control of pain (or concern about it),” 53.9 percent. That’s a scandalously high percentage. Palliative and hospice pain-control experts will tell you that most serious pain in terminal illnesses can be successfully alleviated.
  • Loss of dignity, 53.3 percent. Again, this is a serious concern but can be overcome with appropriate care.
  • Perceived burden on family, friends, and caregivers, 34 percent. In other words, people put themselves out of their loved one’s misery.
  • Emotional distress/anxiety/fear/existential suffering, 4.7 percent.
These statistics are scandalous and should make Canada deeply ashamed.

Alas, most Canadians are proud that their doctors can legally kill sick people whose deaths are “reasonably foreseeable.” Not only that, but the country is now engaged in the process that will expand the conditions qualifying for lethal injection, including incompetent people with dementia if they asked to be put down in an advance directive.

It’s so bad, that in Ontario, if a doctor refuses to euthanize a legally qualified patient or find another doctor he or she knows will kill, they risk professional discipline.

This isn’t just about Canada. The country is our closest cultural cousin. If we swallow the hemlock as our northern cousins have, the same lethal pattern could unfold here.

How bad would it be? Canada has about one-ninth the population of the United States. If the same percentage of people euthanized in Canada were killed by doctors in the U.S.A., it would add up to more than 50,0oo medical homicides per year. Do we really want that?

Care Not Killing strongly condemns a Dutch Bill that would extend euthanasia to anyone over the age of 75

Media Release (Link to the original)
Date: Tuesday 28th July 2020

Care Not Killing has strongly condemned a Dutch End of Life Bill that would extend euthanasia to anyone over the age of 75, even if they have no illness or disability.

Dr Gordon Macdonald
Dr Gordon Macdonald, Chief Executive of Care Not Killing, commented:

'In the Netherlands we have already seen a law introduced for terminally ill mentally competent adults, extended to those with chronic conditions, disabilities, mental health problems and even non-mentally competent children.

'This proliferation of so-called assisted dying in the Netherlands was brought sharply into focus by the recent case of Marinou Arends, who euthanised a 74-year old who was under her care.[1] The dementia sufferer was asked three times if she wanted die and that each time she replied no, but Ms Arends decided to press ahead with administering the lethal cocktail of barbiturates as she had concluded her patient was not mentally competent to answer. A review of the case criticised Ms Arends for a lack of care and for putting a sleeping medicine in the woman's coffee without her knowledge. It reported that when she opened her eyes and saw what was happening the patient had pulled away from the lethal infusion, forcing her son-in-law to restrain her by pushing her back down.

'Yet after being cleared of wrong-doing the Supreme Court in the Netherlands, the retired medic refused to show contrition, telling Nieuwsuur television, she was convinced euthanising the 74-year old dementia patient was right and urged other medics to 'do it, just do it'.

'Now in the latest chilling development, a private member's bill from a Dutch legislator seeks to extend the practice to those who believe they have completed their life, anyone over the age of 75.[2] This would further liberalise the most liberal assisted dying laws in the world and risks introducing euthanasia on demand for anybody at any time. No doubt those advocating for this change will try to talk about safeguards, but these are illusionary and temporary.'
Dr Macdonald continued:
'This is why this proposal is deeply troubling and shows why assisted suicide and euthanasia should never be legalised in the UK. The slippery slope is real and the Dutch euthanasia law has already been massively extended. Most people would be shocked to learn that the fastest growing category of euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands is those who are mentally ill but who have no physiological illness or condition. There was a 600 per cent increase in this category of euthanasia deaths between 2012 and 2017. To now consider extending the euthanasia law to people who are just tired of life, and may well be depressed, is highly irresponsible, immoral and dangerous.

'Current laws in the UK protect vulnerable people from feeling pressured into ending their lives. This is why Members of Parliament have rejected changing the law more than a dozen times since 2004. Most notably the rejection of the Marris Bill, which was comprehensively rejected by the House of Commons in 2015, by 330 to 118.

'This explains why not a single major doctors group supports legalising assisted suicide and euthanasia including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Association for Palliative Medicine and the British Geriatric Society.'


For media inquiries, please call 07970 162225.

Editors Notes
Care Not Killing is a UK-based alliance bringing together over 40 organisations - human rights and disability rights organisations, health care and palliative care groups, faith-based organisations groups - and thousands of concerned individuals.

We have three key aims:

  • to promote more and better palliative care;
  • to ensure that existing laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide are not weakened or repealed; 
  • to inform public opinion further against any weakening of the law. 
  • We seek to attract the broadest support among health care professionals, allied health services and others opposed to euthanasia by campaigning on the basis of powerful arguments underpinned by the latest, well-researched and credible evidence.
*As this story is dealing with suicide, please could we ask that you include details about organisations that offer help and support to vulnerable people who might be feeling suicidal such as the Samaritans, CALM or similar - Thank you.*

Monday, July 27, 2020

Belgian man fights for justice in the euthanasia death of his depressed mother.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The lawyers for Tom Mortier have submitted in the European Court of Human Rights a challenge to the Belgian euthanasia law based on the death of Mortier's depressed mother.

An article by Nicolás de Cárdenas that was published in interviews legal representatives for Mortier who is seeking justice in the 2012 euthanasia death of his depressed mother Godelieve De Troyer.

Cárdenas reported (google translated from Spanish):

Mortier was informed the day after his mother had been euthanized with the explanation that she had been suffering from "intractable depression." Godelieva De Troyer was a 64-year-old woman in good physical health but had a history of depression-related problems.
Cárdenas interviews Robert Clarke, Mortier's legal representative, who states:
"International law has never established the so-called 'right to die.' Rather, it firmly affirms the right to life, especially for the most vulnerable among us. A look at the tragic facts of this case exposes the lie that euthanasia is good for society. The sick, the suffering, the elderly and the vulnerable in our society deserve the utmost respect and care. As this case reaches its final stage, we hope it will give Tom a little justice and help protect others” 
Tom Mortier's mother “was physically healthy and her treating psychiatrist in her 20s did not believe that she met the legal requirements of Belgian euthanasia law. However, she was euthanized in 2012 by an oncologist with no known psychiatric qualifications, "
Cárdenas reported that the euthanasia doctor, Wim Distelmans also authorized other controversial euthanasia cases such as that of 45-year-old deaf twins and a 44-year-old woman whose sex change operation had failed. Distelmans is the co-chair of the Federal Monitoring and Evaluation Committee that is charged with studying cases of euthanasia in Belgium.

More articles about Tom Mortier's case:

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Canada's MAiD report: 26% increase in 2019 euthanasia deaths. The hidden story of abuse.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Health Canada released the first annual report on (MAiD) euthanasia and assisted suicide. The data was gathered from the reports submitted by the medical or nurse practitioners who caused the death. There is no requirement that a third party or neutral person submit the euthanasia reports to insure their accuracy.

Unlike the most recent Québec euthanasia report (October 2019), the data in this report does not attempt to uncover potential abuse of the law. The data in the Québec report indicated that at least 13 assisted deaths did not comply with the law.

The report concerns the 2019 Canadian MAiD deaths indicates that the number of assisted deaths is increasing:
  • In 2019, there were 5,631 MAID deaths reported in Canada, up from 4467 in 2018, accounting for 2.0% of all deaths.
  • The number of cases of MAID in 2019 represented an increase of 26.1% over 2018 with every province experiencing a steady growth in the number of cases of MAID since its introduction into law in 2016.
  • When all data sources are considered, the total of number of medically assisted deaths reported in Canada from legalization until December 31, 2019 is 13,946.
MAID is most often administered in a home or hospital setting.
  • The primary settings for the administration of MAID are hospitals (36.3%) (excluding palliative care beds/units) and patients’ private residences (35.2%). The remaining cases of MAID occurred in palliative care units (20.6%) and residential care (6.9%) or other settings (1.0%).
  • There were 1,271 unique practitioners who provided MAID in 2019. MAID was provided most frequently by a family medicine physician (65.0%), followed by palliative medicine specialist (9.1%) and anesthesiologists (5.0%).
Nature of suffering among MAID recipients
  • Practitioners reported that suffering among MAID recipients was closely tied to a loss of autonomy.
  • The most frequently reported reason for the patient's intolerable suffering was loss of ability to engage in meaningful life activities (82.1%) followed closely by loss of ability to perform activities of daily living (78.1%), and inadequate control of symptoms other than pain, or concern about it (56.4%).
One-quarter of written requests for MAID did not result in an assisted death
  • there were 7,336 written requests for MAID reported through the MAID in 2019. Of these requests, 26.5% (or 1,947) did not result in a MAID death, because the patients died before receiving MAID (57.2% or 1,113 cases), were deemed ineligible (29.3% or 571 cases), or they withdrew their request (13.5% or 263).
  • The most frequently reported reasons why a person was deemed ineligible for MAID (7.8% of written requests) were: lack of capacity to make health care decisions (32.2%); the individual’s natural death was not reasonably foreseeable (27.8%); and the individual was not in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability (23.5%).
  • Of those persons who were assessed as eligible for MAID, but did not receive it, the majority died of another cause prior to administration (15.2%), while a small number (3.6%) of persons withdrew their request after having been deemed eligible.
The report acknowledges that many people start the MAiD process with an oral request, but the law only requires tracking once a written request has been made. Therefore some requests for MAiD are not reported.

The report indicates that 20.6% of the assisted deaths were done in a palliative care setting and 9.1% were done by a palliative care specialist. 

Palliative care and hospice professionals and organizations opposed the legalization of MAiD and are now being forced to participate. The Delta Hospice Society, which is an independent hospice charity, has is being forced by the British Columbia Health Minister to provide euthanasia or lose their funding.

The report indicates that the federal law does not force physicians or nurse practitioners to participate in MAiD, and yet some provinces are pressuring medical practitioners to participate. 

In May 2019, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that doctors, who oppose euthanasia, had to participate in the act by doing an effective referral. In March 2020, the Physicians Alliance Against Euthanasia reported that a growing number of physicians are being bullied to participate in MAiD.

Roger Foley
The report indicates that 41.2% of those who died by MAiD, in 2019, required disability support services, and 89.8% were receiving those services. The data doesn't provide information as to the level of services. There are people with disabilities who have been denied the level of support that they needed but instead offered MAiD. For instance, Roger Foley of London Ontario was turned down for self-directed home-care but offered euthanasia.

Candice Lewis
The report does not attempt to uncover abuse of the law and it didn't track stories that were negative to euthanasia. For instance, in August 2016, Candice Lewis (25) while receiving treatment at a Newfoundland hospital was pressured to "request" an assisted death.

No one questions that Candice was very sick, but as Candice's mother told CBC news, the doctor pressured her to request physician-assisted death, Candice never asked for it.

Alan Nichols (Center)
In August 2019, Alan Nichols died by euthanasia, even after his family insisted that Alan was not competent to make this decision and that he was living with chronic depression.

  • Do you have a story about euthanasia or assisted suicide (Link).
In September 2019, Justice Baudouin, struck down the requirement in Canada's euthanasia law that a person be terminally ill. The federal government did not appeal the decision.

I reported that striking down the "terminal illness" requirement in the law opened the door to euthanasia for psychiatric conditions (Link).

On February 24, Canada's federal government introduced Bill C-7 to expand the euthanasia law.

What does Bill C-7 do?

1. Bill C-7 removes the requirement in the law that a person’s natural death be reasonably foreseeable in order to qualify for assisted death. Therefore, people who are not terminally ill can die by euthanasia. The Quebec court decision only required this amendment to the law, but Bill C-7 went further.

2. Bill C-7 permits a doctor or nurse practitioner to lethally inject a person who is incapable of consenting, if that person was previously approved for assisted death. This contravenes the Supreme Court of Canada Carter decision which stated that only competent people could die by euthanasia.

3. Bill C-7 waives the ten-day waiting period if a person's natural death is deemed to be reasonably foreseeable. Thus a person could request death by euthanasia on a "bad day" and die the same day. Studies prove that the “will to live” fluctuates.

The report indicates that in 65.7% of MAID deaths, MAID was provided following the 10-day reflection period. In the 34.3% of MAID deaths where this period was shortened, most practitioners (84.4%) cited imminent loss of the patient’s capacity to consent as the primary reason, with imminent death cited in 45.4% of these cases.

Bill C-7 does not need to eliminate the 10 day waiting period because more than one-third of the deaths, the waiting period is already waved.

For instance, in November 2016 EPC reported the case of a woman who may only have had a bladder infection who died by euthanasia. Even in this case, soon after legalization, the doctor waved the 10 day waiting period.

4. Bill C-7 creates a two track law. A person whose natural death is deemed to be reasonably foreseeable has no waiting period while a person whose natural death is not deemed to be reasonably foreseeable would have a 90 day waiting period before being killed by lethal injection.

5. As stated earlier, Bill C-7 falsely claims to prevent euthanasia for people with mental illness. The euthanasia law permits MAiD for people who are physically or psychologically suffering that is intolerable to the person and that cannot be relieved in a way that the person considers acceptable. However, mental illness, which is not defined in the law, is considered a form of psychological suffering.

Bill C-7 goes much further than the Quebec Superior Court Truchon decision.
The Canadian government must reject Bill C-7 and begin the promised 5-year review of the euthanasia law with an open view to what is actually happening rather than continuing to expand euthanasia, making Canada the most permissive euthanasia regime in the world.
  • Five reasons to oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide (Link).
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