By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
A Québec man who is scheduled to die by euthanasia on December 5, says that he asked for euthanasia, not based on his degenerative health, but due to his untenable living condition at CHSLD [a residential and long-term care center] in Valcourt.
Mélanie Noël, reporting for La Tribune on November 30, states that Raymond Bourbonnais will die by Medical Aid in Dying because his health condition allows it and his living conditions are unacceptable.
Mr. Bourbonnais is urging the government to improve conditions. Noël reports (google translated):
“After a year in a CHSLD where I have noticed a constant deterioration of services, I would ask you to do everything possible to put pressure on the government to wake up its senior officials who sleep in their air-conditioned offices. The problem of manpower has become a daily concern and it worsens dangerously on weekends,”
Noël continues (google translated):
Summer was a particularly difficult time for Mr. Bourbonnais. “The heat went up to 27, sometimes 30 degrees in my room. We cannot open the windows and the CHSLD does not allow users to install air conditioning in their room.”
Residents enter and leave Mr. Bourbonnais’ without being invited. “There is a lady who moves all my things. And since I am paralyzed, I no longer have them at hand. And a man, always the same person, has repeatedly attacked me physically. Shake my arm or grabs my buttocks. When he came out of the room here, the other residents around him were shouting, ‘Go to your room!'”
Mr. Bourbonnais complained. He was told that it was serious and that things would change.
“A month later, he was still walking around wherever he wanted. Fortunately, he has a harder time getting around lately.”
Mr. Bourbonnais decided that when he was unable to be moved to his wheelchair, then he would have had enough.
Noël reports (google translated):
“I would ask you to be indulgent, my abilities are limited. As most of you already know, I had a busy life. I have never missed a job and I have always volunteered, parish, municipal, cooperative or at the snowmobile club. I always fought. Now it’s not possible.”
When euthanasia was legalized, we predicted that people would ask for death based on living conditions. We have no idea how many cases, similar to Raymond Bourbonnais and Roger Foley, have occurred in Canada.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.