Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Euthanasia deaths continue to increase in Canada.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Ontario Office of the Chief Coroner released new MAiD data (euthanasia and assisted suicide deaths). In Ontario from June 17, 2016 to June 30, 2020, there were 5445 reported assisted deaths with 1127 reported assisted deaths in the first six months of 2020.

The number of assisted deaths is increasing. In Ontario there were 1789 reported assisted deaths in 2019, 1499 in 2018, 841 in 2017, and 189 in 2016.

In 2019, of the 1789 reported assisted deaths with 774 in the first six months and 1015 in the second half of the year in Ontario.

Sign the Petition: Reject euthanasia Bill C-7 (Link).

In May  I published an article explaining that more than 15,000 Canadians had died by assisted deaths since the inception of the law. The data does not account for the under-reporting of assisted death as was uncovered in Quebec and likely occurs across Canada.

The federal government is slow in releasing official assisted death statistics but we have data from Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Alberta.

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.

At that time, 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.

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.

Sign the Petition: Reject euthanasia Bill C-7 (Link).

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.

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