According to a new report put out by Canada’s federal health department, doctors were responsible for 2,614 deaths by euthanasia, or nearly 1.12% of all deaths in the country, in just the first ten months of 2018. The document, “Fourth Interim Report on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada,” was published in April 2019 and shows the shocking growth of euthanasia in the country.
Based on the current data in Canada, as National Review pointed out, “This means well over 3,000 people are killed by their doctors each year in Canada, which — if my math is correct — is more than 250 a month, more than 58 a week, and more than eight per day. Heck, that’s about one every three hours.”
Since assisted suicide was legalized in Canada in 2016 under Bill C-14 via a procedure named Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID), a total of 5,085 people in the country have died by euthanasia.
Although currently applying to adults with a terminal diagnosis, the 2016 euthanasia law has possible expansions built into it, or what the interim report describes as “complex and sensitive” cases, to include requests for euthanasia from “mature minors,” people with dementia through advanced requests, as well as “requests where a mental disorder is the sole underlying medical condition.” The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) was tasked to study these cases and released its findings in December 2018.
In the report’s summary, CCA effectively endorsed the idea that minors should be eligible to request euthanasia, possibly without parental consent. The CCA also proposed a number of “potential safeguards” that could enable legalization for those with mental disorders, as well as people with dementia through advanced requests. The law could be updated to legalize euthanasia in these cases as early as 2020-2021, when the Canadian Parliament conducts a mandatory five-year review process.
As the pro-life Canadian Euthanasia Prevention Coalition points out, the legalization of euthanasia always results in unintended social consequences: “Sanctioning of euthanasia and assisted suicide (as in the Netherlands) has led to increased use of euthanasia without consent, circumvention of the law, and abuse of the vulnerable.”
Despite assurances of mainstream sources like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, statistics out of The Netherlands, which became the first major Western nation to legalize euthanasia, shows that the slippery slope is real. Despite the fact that the law is intended to apply to only those with terminal illnesses, 146 people with dementia, 67 people with psychiatric illnesses, and another 205 who simply had “multiple problems derived from the ageing process” were all euthanized in 2018, according to DutchNews.nl. As Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition points out, in The Netherlands there have been prosecutions of physicians for euthanizing in flagrant cases, as well as resignations from euthanasia advisory boards to protest widespread abuses.
The euthanasia law’s five-year review could begin as early as June 2020.
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