In 2021, assisted suicide through Canada’s Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) regime killed more people than chronic liver disease/cirrhosis (4,173) and Alzheimer’s disease (5,743) in 2020 combined. In all, a shocking 10,064 people died by assisted suicide in 2021 in Canada. If it weren’t for the recommendation that the underlying disease be listed on the death certificate, MAiD would likely hold the slot for the seventh leading cause of death in Canada, above diabetes (7,566) and the flu (5,931).
Today in Canada, adults with a serious illness, disease, or disability can utilize MAiD, which is a very permissive euthanasia/assisted suicide regime even by international standards. The law is set to expand even further in March of 2023 as the “barrier” of mental fitness to access MAiD is removed.
Some Canadian officials have expressed surprise and outrage over recent revelations that people with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by the push for MAiD. Euthanasia and assisted suicide opponents — like Alex Schadenberg of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, and Tim Stainton, director of the Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship at the University of British Columbia — have also been sounding the alarm. In an Associated Press article, Stainton described Canada’s law as “probably the biggest existential threat to disabled people since the Nazis’ program in Germany in the 1930s.”
Official reports of the 10,064 deaths by assisted suicide in 2021 are likely much lower than the actual number of assisted suicide and euthanasia deaths. But even accepting the raw numbers as accurate, 10,064 individuals represent 3.3% of all deaths in Canada and a one-third increase of deaths by MAiD since 2020. Many expect this number to exponentially grow.
“There’s going to be a rush for the doors,” said Mitchell Tremblay, a 40-year-old man who has struggled with severe depression since he was a teen as well as anxiety, alcoholism, personality disorders, and suicidal thoughts. He is unable to work and therefore lives in poverty on a disability payment of less than $1,200 a month. He is looking forward to MAiD’s expansion in March.
“You know what your life is worth to you. And mine is worthless,” he said. Canada will kill Tremblay rather than cover the costs of providing him with real medical care. A 2020 Canadian report stated that assisted suicide represents “a net reduction in cost of $86.9 million” for the government. It concluded that “expanding access to MAID will result in a net reduction in health care costs for the provincial governments.” (emphasis added)
Psychiatrist John Maher told CTV News that he had a patient request suicide because he felt no one would ever love him. He explained that “the wait times for our treatment programs in Ontario are up to five years” and added, “There are cycles of illness… Some of it’s up and down. It might be years. And then there’s a burst of illness and suffering that we then take care of.” He opposes MAiD for mental illness.
“You’re assisting someone in the completion of their suicide. The doctor is the sanitized gun,” he said. He noted that he is very concerned that the legislation requires a doctor to determine if a patient with mental illness is incurable — which he feels is impossible to determine.
Assisted suicide has been legalized in several U.S. states and there is a great push among advocates for its expansion. Many fear that any “protections” legislators add to the proposed legislation, such as “mental fitness,” will also be re-classified someday as “barriers” and lead to a similar dystopian human crisis to that being experienced in Canada.