Thursday, May 27, 2021

Canadian man dies by euthanasia after adverse drug reaction.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Avis Favaro, the CTV National News Medical Correspondent recently did a news program on the issue of adverse drug reactions in Canada

According to Favaro, advocates say that adverse drug reactions are the leading cause of death for Canadians and they are pushing for new rules for monitoring the side effects to track the reactions to adverse drug reactions.

What makes this story different than the many other stories of people who have suffered after an adverse drug reaction is that Mike Sawatsky, who Favaro follows in the report, has applied for and was approved for euthanasia (MAiD) in order to end his suffering.

When debating euthanasia I have referred to the data indicating that medical error is the third leading cause of death. The adverse drug reaction activists claim that adverse drug reaction is the leading cause of death.

People who ask for death by lethal injection are sometimes misdiagnosed, but in this case Sawatsky, who will die by euthanasia, was horribly affected by a terrible medical error.

Favaro reports on Sawatsky's story:

Crystal is Sawatsky’s wife. She witnessed her husband turn into a totally different person following his treatment.

“It completely changed our lives because we were active outdoors people. We had kids, we had lots of friends, we're very social. And we went to being a recluse,” she said. They stopped many of their previous social and outdoor activities, and sold their cabin on the lake.

Worse, Sawatsky was navigating fruitlessly through the health-care system, seeing countless specialists, trying to get someone to acknowledge what had happened and get a proper diagnosis.

Not knowing what was wrong with him, doctors would prescribe more drugs.

“I was like, look, I'm obliterated. I don't need any more drugs,” he said. “None of them would accept the fact that it was an adverse drug reaction.”

Sawatsky knew if he continued down that path he was not going to last long. After two and a half years, his nephrologist finally attributed his condition to an adverse drug reaction, he said.
After Favaro reports on how reporting and treatments for adverse drug reactions will improve the situation, she then reports that Sawatsky will die by euthanasia.
But all of these potential solutions come too late for Mike Sawatsky, however. With his health still declining, he applied for and was approved for a medically assisted death that would allow him to end his suffering at a time of his own choosing.

Once again, I recognize the suffering that Sawatsky and his family experienced, but death by lethal injection is not the answer, but rather a further medical abandonment. It may be true that Sawatsky's health has been so damaged that he won't effectively recover, nonetheless, his life and story are important and his death, by lethal injection is a tragedy.

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