Monday, May 2, 2022

Why is Canada euthanizing the poor?

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

An article written by Yuan Yi Zhu, a Senior Research Fellow at Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project and a researcher based at Nuffield College, Oxford (UK) was published in The Spectator on April 30 titled: Why is Canada euthanising the poor?

Zhu explains that the Supreme court decision struck down Canada's laws protecting people from euthanasia and assisted suicide and then parliament legalized euthanasia by passing Bill C-14 which required that a person's "natural death must be reasonably foreseeable." Zhu explains how Bill C-7 changed Canada's euthanasia law:
It only took five years for the proverbial slope to come into view, when the Canadian parliament enacted Bill C-7, a sweeping euthanasia law which repealed the ‘reasonably foreseeable’ requirement – and the requirement that the condition should be ‘terminal’. Now, as long as someone is suffering from an illness or disability which ‘cannot be relieved under conditions that you consider acceptable’, they can take advantage of what is now known euphemistically as ‘medical assistance in dying’ (MAID for short) for free.
The problems with euthanasia started before Bill C-7 was passed, but Bill C-7 made things worse:
Many in the healthcare sector came to the same conclusion. Even before Bill C-7 was enacted, reports of abuse were rife. A man with a neurodegenerative disease testified to Parliament that nurses and a medical ethicist at a hospital tried to coerce him into killing himself by threatening to bankrupt him with extra costs or by kicking him out of the hospital, and by withholding water from him for 20 days. Virtually every disability rights group in the country opposed the new law. To no effect: for once, the government found it convenient to ignore these otherwise impeccably progressive groups.

Since then, things have only gotten worse. A woman in Ontario was forced into euthanasia because her housing benefits did not allow her to get better housing which didn’t aggravate her crippling allergies. Another disabled woman applied to die because she ‘simply cannot afford to keep on living’. Another sought euthanasia because Covid-related debt left her unable to pay for the treatment which kept her chronic pain bearable – under the present government, disabled Canadians got $600 in additional financial assistance during Covid; university students got $5,000.

When the family of a 35-year-old disabled man who resorted to euthanasia arrived at the care home where he lived, they encountered ‘urine on the floor… spots where there was feces on the floor… spots where your feet were just sticking. Like, if you stood at his bedside and when you went to walk away, your foot was literally stuck.’ According to the Canadian government, the assisted suicide law is about ‘prioritis[ing] the individual autonomy of Canadians’; one may wonder how much autonomy a disabled man lying in his own filth had in weighing death over life.
Zhu then explains how euthanasia is saving the government money.
Despite the Canadian government’s insistence that assisted suicide is all about individual autonomy, it has also kept an eye on its fiscal advantages. Even before Bill C-7 entered into force, the country’s Parliamentary Budget Officer published a report about the cost savings it would create: whereas the old MAID regime saved $86.9 million per year – a ‘net cost reduction’, in the sterile words of the report – Bill C-7 would create additional net savings of $62 million per year. Healthcare, particular for those suffering from chronic conditions, is expensive; but assisted suicide only costs the taxpayer $2,327 per ‘case’. And, of course, those who have to rely wholly on government-provided Medicare pose a far greater burden on the exchequer than those who have savings or private insurance.
Zhu concludes his article by explaining that next year euthanasia will be available for those with mental illness. He writes:
Next year, the floodgates will open even further when those suffering from mental illness – another disproportionately poor group – become eligible for assisted suicide, although enthusiastic doctors and nurses have already pre-empted the law. There is already talk of allowing ‘mature minors’ access to euthanasia too – just think of the lifetime savings. But remember, slippery slopes are always a fallacy.
What I like about this article is that it is written by someone who is looking at Canada from afar. Canadians tend to deny the reality by thinking, it really isn't that bad.


Nancy said...

Thank you, Alex ! Good work! Thou Shall Not Kill People, including Yourself !

sophie jensen said...

I am looking at Canada from afar, and I am beyond disgusted. What more can I say, except that I think that the whole idea of MAID, in ANY country, is based on a desire to save money, and the removal of the need to treat people fairly and give them the care that they require?

Jackie Deutsch. said...

I totally agree with Sophie Jensen. I cannot fathom how anyone can believe it is an honorable activity to deliberately take the life of anyone. We are a pagan world!

Corrina Conlan said...

My mother was unlawfully euthanized by Ryan Gant , Dr.Enns and the rest of the medical staff of Chilliwack hospital. Punk Ryan Gant asked me if I owned a home and what my mom did for an Income. Then went behind my back and murdered her.