In Canada, the variety of assisted suicides is growing as a 3rd of respondents concern it is going to be a nuisance

In Canada, the variety of assisted suicides is growing as a 3rd of respondents concern it is going to be a nuisance

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A third of those who opted for assisted suicide in Canada said they were concerned about incriminating caregivers or family members(Photo: Unsplash / Janelle Hewines)

The number of deaths from assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada rose more than 25% in 2019 and accounted for 2% of all deaths in the country last year, according to a report released by the Canadian government.

Health Canada's first annual report on Medical Assistance in the Die (MAID) found that 5,631 Canadians opted for assisted suicide in 2019. This is a 26.1% increase compared to the 4,467 deaths in 2018, where assisted suicide accounted for 1.57% of the total deaths in Canada.

More than a third (34%) of those who chose "medical assistance in dying" said they were a burden on family or carers. Another 13.7% cited "isolation or loneliness" as a reason for procuring an assisted suicide.

Last year, 92.2% of MAID applications out of a total of 7,336 applications were approved.

No conscientious objection

The report states, "It should be noted that there is nothing in federal MAID legislation that compels a practitioner to provide or assist in providing MAID."

Last year, however, the Ontario Court of Appeals ruled that physicians who resist euthanasia must participate in the law through effective referral. In March 2020, the Doctors Alliance Against Euthanasia reported that more and more doctors are being bullied into participating in the provision of euthanasia or assisted suicide.

Further expansion of assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada

Earlier this year, the Canadian government tabled bill to extend the country's assisted suicide and euthanasia regime to people without terminal illnesses.

Bill C-7 was enacted after the Quebec Supreme Court ruled last year that a protection requiring patients to prove natural death was "reasonably foreseeable" was unconstitutional.

According to Reuters, the bill will now "remove the requirement that a person must be reasonably foreseeable in order to be eligible for medical assistance in dying," and enable assisted suicide and euthanasia for those who are not terminally ill.

Disability advocates, including the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, said the court's decision sent the message that "a disability is a fate worse than death".

Worrying Concern about Assisted Suicide in Canada

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada has led to an increase in organ donation and open advertising for those considering a medically assisted death, raising ethical concerns.

A recent report from a disability rights expert highlighted very worrying concerns about the impact of Canada's assisted suicide laws on people with disabilities.

The report states: "The Special Rapporteur is extremely concerned about the implementation of the legislation on medical assistance in the case of dying from a disability perspective. She has learned that there is no protocol to show that people with disabilities are considered eligible for euthanasia apply to have done this. " provided with viable alternatives. "

The report went on to say: "In addition, she (the Special Rapporteur) has received worrying information about people with disabilities in facilities pressured to seek medical help in dying and about practitioners who do not have cases with people with disabilities officially report. "

During her visit, the Special Rapporteur said people with disabilities had told her "they are being offered the" choice "between a nursing home and medical assistance in dying."

More than 13,000 Canadians have received medically assisted suicide or euthanasia since it was legalized in September 2016, according to the Justice Department.

Ethical concerns were raised earlier this year when it became known that the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia in the country had led to an increase in organ donation and the open encouragement of those considering assisted suicide or euthanasia. Additionally, an alarming study found that legalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia could save the Canadian healthcare system up to $ 138 million a year.

Courtesy Right to Life UK

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