Woman in Simons’ “glamorous pro-euthanasia” actually wanted to live.

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Jennyfer Hatch

Tristan Hopper reported in the National Post on December 5 that Jennyfer Hatch, the woman who was featured in the Simons commercial that promoted euthanasia, didn’t want to die but she was unable to access needed healthcare. Hopper reports:

The woman featured in a glamorous pro-euthanasia commercial for a Canadian clothing retailer only opted for assisted suicide after her years-long attempts to secure proper health care failed, friends have revealed.

Hopper continues:

Last week, CTV confirmed that Hatch was the same woman who had spoken to them in June about her failed attempts to find proper treatment for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare and painful condition in which patients suffer from excessively fragile skin and connective tissues.

“I feel like I’m falling through the cracks so if I’m not able to access health care am I then able to access death care?’ And that’s what led me to look into MAID,” Hatch told CTV in June under a pseudonym.

Like more than a million British Columbians, Hatch was left without primary care after her family doctor moved away. And so, after her Ehlers-Danlos diagnosis 10 years ago, Hatch’s treatment had largely consisted of a chaotic and ineffective stream of specialist appointments, none of whom had any background in her condition.

“It is far easier to let go than keep fighting,” she told CTV.

Even when it seemed apparent that her condition was terminal, Hatch noted that the B.C. health-care system hadn’t even been able to provide her with appropriate palliative care.

Hatch had no problem getting approved for MAiD [Medical Assistance in Dying]even though she couldn’t get treated and Simons didn’t bother mentioning these factors.

Hopper writes:

However, B.C. was quick to approve Hatch’s application for MAID. “There were no other treatment recommendations or interventions that were suitable to the patient’s needs or to her financial constraints,” reads a CTV excerpt of the MAID approval issued to Hatch by Fraser Health, the health agency serving B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

None of these complicating factors were mentioned in the Simons ad, which instead highlighted what it called the “hard beauty” of assisted suicide.

Hopper explains that Hatch is one of many people who have died by euthanasia because they couldn’t receive treatment for their condition:

Tama Recker, a friend of Hatch, told CTV last week that her friend was ultimately comfortable with the decision to seek MAID, but that she also wanted to highlight a health-care system that was “very broken.” “Part of what Jennyfer wanted to do is get people talking,” said Recker.

Hatch’s case fits into an ever-expanding constellation of Canadians who want to live, but applied for medically assisted death out of desperation after failed attempts to seek appropriate care.

Last year, B.C. woman Donna Duncan was able to swiftly receive approval for assisted suicide in an Abbotsford hospital after years of unsuccessful attempts to find treatment for chronic mental-health issues. The killing of Duncan so blindsided her family that they referred the case to the RCMP for investigation.

Hopper ends the article by commenting on the Canadian Veterans who have been offered MAiD rather than the support that they need:

Last month, a House of Commons committee heard about five separate incidents of Canadian Armed Forces veterans being offered MAID after seeking assistance with issues ranging from depression to PTSD.

Most recently, former paralympian Christine Gauthier went public with her story of being offered MAID by a Veterans Affairs caseworker after she complained about delays in installing an in-home chairlift.

“Madam, if you are really so desperate, we can give you medical assistance in dying now,” the caseworker told Gauthier, according to an interview she gave with Global News.

It is sad how euthanasia is exploiting people with disabilities who are poor, homeless and not receiving the treatment that they need.

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