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MPs warned Canada not an example to follow on assisted suicide laws

Assisted Suicide
10 November 2023

Last year, the number of euthanasia deaths in Canada increased 31.2% from the previous year, a new report from Health Canada has revealed.

In 2022 the number of deaths of Canadians requesting assisted suicide were recorded at 13,241 compared to 10,092 in 2021. With a total of 44,948 MAiD deaths since its introduction in 2016.

The Director of Canadian Physicians for Life, Nicole Scheidl shares her dismay at the rate in which numbers are rising.

She says, “I think that it is pretty clear that it is being so integrated into our healthcare system that it is becoming the first option offered and counselled to people, particularly individuals with longer wait times.”

Statistics from Health Canada show that in 2022, 17.1% of people cited “isolation or loneliness” as a reason for wanting to die.

In 35.3% of cases, patients believed that they were a “burden on family, friends or caregivers”.

In March next year, the Bill will change to allow individuals who solely suffer from mental illness to access assisted suicide.

Speaking to UK MPs this week, the Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition in Canada shared a number of cases where euthanasia was advised for patients where clearly other options were available.

Examples included a veteran who was offered euthanasia rather than a wheelchair lift; and of a man who was accepted onto the euthanasia programme because he feared homelessness; and a third in which a disabled woman applied for euthanasia because it was easier to access than disability support.

As MPs promised that such things would not happen under any proposed assisted suicide law in Britain, Schadenberg replied “that’s exactly what they said in Canada.

“When we were debating this in 2015, the Netherlands stories and Belgium stories were constantly talked about, and the response was ‘we’re Canadians, that’s not going to happen’.”

But “that’s what happened” he added.

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Assisted Suicide

Where assisted suicide is legal, it makes vulnerable people feel like a burden. CARE works to uphold laws that protect those people, and to assist them to live—not to commit suicide.

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