Tuesday, June 13, 2023

British Columbia: 24% rise in euthanasia deaths in 2022.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

James Reinl, the social affairs correspondent for the Daily Mail, published an article on June 13, 2023 about British Columbia's euthanasia data. Reinl obtained data from the BC Ministry of Health showing that there were 2515 (MAiD) euthanasia deaths in the province in 2022, up by 24% from 2030 euthanasia deaths in 2021. 

British Columbia had the highest 2021 euthanasia rate in Canada. Québec has the highest euthanasia rate in the world in 2022.

Reinl's article is part of a series of articles that he has written on research concerning Canada's euthanasia law. His last article was based on the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition prediction that there were approximately 13,500 euthanasia deaths in Canada in 2022, up from 10,064 in 2021. The prediction was based on data collected by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and data obtained by Reinl.

Reinl states:
British Columbia saw 24 percent more people getting assisted suicides last year — what campaigners call an 'alarming' sign of unraveling safeguards on euthanasia in the Canadian province.

Some 2,515 people received Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), as procedures are known, in the West Coast region, more than the 2,030 who did so in 2021, BC Ministry of Health figures show.

The data come amid concerns that BC and Canada as a whole are headed toward a euthanasia free-for-all, as federal officials weigh whether to extend the procedures to the mentally ill and even children.
Reinl continues:
'Not only has there been a 24 percent increase in the number of people who died by euthanasia, but the number of MAiD deaths relative to the overall deaths in the province continues to climb as well.'

Last year, some 5.5 percent of all fatalities in BC were assisted suicides, making it one of the top causes of death in the province after cancer, heart disease, and dementia, and roughly on par with drug overdoses.

Of particular concern was Vancouver Island, a pristine, forested territory on the Pacific Ocean with a population of only about 865,000 people.

Some 823 residents opted for MAiD last year, the data show.

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, said that amounted to 'an unbelievable' 10-15 percent of all deaths — perhaps the highest euthanasia rate of anywhere in the world.
Donna Duncan's daughters
For greater clarity concerning the experience with euthanasia in British Columbia, Reinl writes about the police investigation into the euthanasia death of Donna Duncan. Reinl quotes Donna's daughter Alicia:

'I don't want this to ever happen to another family ever again,' daughter Alicia told CTV.

'Ultimately, I want stronger laws and legislation.'

Alan with his brother Gary.
Reinl then compares the Duncan story to the euthanasia death of Alan Nichols.

The Duncan family tragedy echoes the case of Alan Nichols, a 61-year-old BC man with a history of depression who was greenlighted for euthanasia on the basis of a single health condition: hearing loss. 

Nichols submitted a request to be euthanized, and he was killed by lethal injection in 2019, despite concerns raised by his family and a nurse practitioner. His brother, Gary, says he was 'basically put to death.' 

Alex Schadenberg
Reinl examines why so many Canadians are dying by euthanasia. He explains the history of how euthanasia was legalized in Canada and then writes:

The law was later amended to allow people who are not terminally ill to choose death, significantly broadening the number of eligible people.

Critics say that change removed a key safeguard aimed at protecting people with potentially decades of life left.

Today, any adult with a serious illness, disease, or disability can seek help in dying.

Schadenberg said MAiD teams in clinics were aggressively pushing for sick people to opt for euthanasia.

He described cases of medics asking terminally sick people as many as five times if they wanted to end their lives. In some cases, they asked them when relatives were present, and again when alone, Schadenberg said.

'The selling of MAiD by the MAiD teams is a big reason why the numbers are skyrocketing.

'If you're going to pay people to be on a MAiD team, they will sell what they are offering,' Schadenberg said.

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