Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Quebec man seeks euthanasia based on changes to home-care.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A Lachine QC man who lives with quadriplegia is seeking death by euthanasia (MAiD) because of the failure of his home care service to provide his basic needs.

Angela MacKenzie reported for CTV News on September 29 that Jacques Comeau (66) has applied for euthanasia based on changes to his home-care service. MacKenzie stated that a month ago Comeau was not considering death by euthanasia but now CLSC Dorval-Lachine has changed their system of care. According to the report:

three times a week, orderlies appear to help him relieve his bowels.

For years, the service was performed by the same 10 to 15 people, who have become familiar with Comeau's body and its specific needs. They've also become trusted companions -- it's an intimate service, after all, and the walls come down.
MacKenzie reported that CLSC Dorval-Lachine changed the system and is now sending new orderlies he doesn't know. Comeau says the procedure is being performed incorrectly, causing him discomfort and pain.

Comeau with Nkoth
Comeau thought that the problem would be solved by having one of the 10 - 15 people who were familiar with him train some of the new home-care workers but CLSC refused. Comeau told MacKenzie:
"I'm stressed beyond belief, I'm not sleeping well, I'm not eating regularly," he said. "The amount of pain I'm dealing with, psychologically, is the kind I've never dealt with. I became disabled as a young person and got through that. And this is 10 times worse."

"The biggest problem is, I get up in the morning, I don't know who's coming, how it's going to go. So I'm constantly on edge wondering what's happening."

MacKenzie interviewed accessibility advocate Adèle Liliane Ngo Mben Nkoth who said that Comeau's circumstances are far from unheard of. Nkoth told MacKenzie:

instances like this are preventable, and that death should not be the only option.

"It's a shame that people come to think they have to take medical aid to die because that care is not there.
Dr Paul Saba
Dr Paul Saba, a family physician and President of the Board of Physicians at Lachine hospital agreed. Saba told MacKenzie:
"People are choosing it because they can't get proper housing, can't get affordable housing, can't get food, where they're not getting enough social services, not enough nursing help"

"We're basically getting rid of people that we consider as 'undesirables' and society is going along with it. We must say 'stop.'"
Comeau told MacKenzie that:
"I’ve done everything, I’ve paid my taxes, I’ve contributed to society, but here I am."
Comeau would like to continue living but he says that he cannot live this way. 

Links to more stories of the euthanasia experience in Canada:

  • Veterans affairs worker advocates euthanasia for PTSD (Link).
  • Alberta man requests euthanasia based on poverty (Link).
  • Shopping for doctor death in Canada (Link).
  • Gwen is seeking euthanasia because she can't access medical treatment (Link).
  • Euthanasia for disability and poverty (Link).
  • Euthanasia for Long Covid and poverty (Link).
  • Canada's MAiD law is the most permissive in the world. (Link).


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