Alberta: 50% increase in Medical Aid in Dying deaths in 2018

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

An article by Gillian Slade for the Medicine Hat News reports that the number of euthanasia deaths, referred to as MAiD [Medical Aid in Dying], increased by 50% in Alberta in 2018.

Euthanasia was legalized on June 17, 2016 in Canada.

The story, based on data from Alberta Health Services, states that there were 69 assisted deaths in 2016; 205 assisted deaths in 2017; and 307 assisted deaths in 2018 in Alberta, a total of 581.

The report from the Alberta Health Services says the numbers are “Current as of February 28, 2019.” Since the total is listed as 600, data must include some 2019 deaths.

The article [“Medically assisted death numbers on the rise in Alberta“] states

Of the 600 cases so far, 379 were carried out in a facility and 221 in the community, according to the AHS report. A total of 64 patients were transferred from mainly faith-based facilities in order to receive MAID and 12 were transferred from non-faith-based facilities to a participating facility or to the patient’s home.

The only other province to release euthanasia data is Québec which stated that between July 2017 and March 2018 there was an approximate 75% increase in assisted deaths. The Québec report indicates that 10% of the assisted deaths were not administered according to the law and 142 assisted deaths were not reported.

The Alberta data does not indicate how many deaths did not fulfill the criteria of the law or were not reported.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.