Assisted Dying expansion aided by legislation and a culture of loneliness and isolation

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Lee Harding, writing for the Epoch Times, interviewed me about the expansion of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) euthanasia in Canada for an article that was published on July 13.

Harding reports on the 2020 Health Canada euthanasia report which indicated that there was a 35% increase in assisted deaths in Canada in 2020. Harding writes.

In 2020, 7,595 Canadians received medical assistance in dying (MAiD). This was an over 34 percent increase from 2019’s 5,660 figure, but 2.7 times the 2017 number of 2,838, the first full year assisted suicide was legal in Canada. The statistics were published in Health Canada’s second annual report on MAiD released at the end of June.

In addition to the increase in assisted deaths, MAiD opponents were disturbed by circumstances in which the procedure was delivered last year, including some that may not have been legal. Taking data from the Health Canada report, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition found that:

*4,120 Canadians chose MAiD because they had cancer, yet it was without discussion with an oncologist about their choice;

*2,532 people died by MAiD less than 10 days after requesting it, including 905 whose deaths were not imminent but had the then-legally required 10-day reflection period waived because two practitioners determined that they could lose their decision-making capacity within that 10-day period;

*1,253 had non-terminal conditions; and

*59 people were assessed by the practitioner as having requested a lethal injection without directly consulting with the person.

Harding asked me about the effect that the euthanasia expansion Bill C-7 will have on MAiD in Canada. 

These numbers are expected to rise yet again in 2021 due to Bill C-7, which became law on March 17, says Alex Schadenberg, founder of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

“The effect of Bill C-7 will be a lot more death, but also the fact that the culture is being inundated with the concept that this is a good thing,” he said in an interview.

Harding then reported what I stated about the problem with cultural loneliness.

Schadenberg is disturbed that 1,412 Canadians requested MAiD in 2020 because they felt isolated and lonely.

“The euthanasia mentality really takes off in a culture of loneliness and isolation, and that’s what we have in our culture, more so than ever before—and it’s only getting worse,”

Harding follows his interview with me by speaking to Angelina Ireland, the President of the Delta Hospice Society who stated

the medical system has an increasing bias in favour of MAiD instead of supporting people until their natural death.

“We need to call for perhaps a provincial or national inquiry as to what is going on out there with elderly people, with sick people … vulnerable people. People are coming up to them, nurses, doctors, recommending they just MAiD themselves.”

Sadly, the Canadian government’s current review of the euthanasia law is oriented to further expansions of euthanasia rather than investigating how the law is actually working in Canada.

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