June 29, 2018 (Euthanasia Prevention Coalition) – The experience with every jurisdiction that permits euthanasia or assisted suicide is that once it is legalized it expands in the number and situations whereby death by lethal drugs is considered a response to difficult human conditions.
In Canada, The Third Interim Report on Medical Assistance in Dying (euthanasia and assisted suicide) was recently released by health Canada indicating that the number of deaths by lethal drugs has increased by 30% in the second half of 2017 (July 1 – Dec 31, 2017).
The data indicates that there were 1525 reported assisted deaths in the last 6 months of 2017. There were 1179 reported assisted deaths in The Second Interim report for the first 6 months of 2017. There were 3714 reported assisted deaths since parliament legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide, up to December 31, 2017.
The actual data provided in the Canadian report lacks any insight into why doctors decided to kill these patients.
- 37% of forms/reports from doctors, and an unnamed percentage of reports from institutions, needed more information. Some doctors openly refused to provide the additional information requested by the Commission.
- A 5% or 7% error rate (with 3% undetermined) would not be acceptable where lives depended on the effective application of safeguards (e.g. the airline industry).
- The three cases in which the safeguards were clearly violated (two where the person did not have a “serious and incurable illness” and one where the person was not at the “end of life”) were not addressed as the crimes that they are.
The promotion and expansion of euthanasia in Canada has been very concerning.
Recently Roger Foley, of London Ontario, launched a court case based on the fact that he has been told that he qualifies for an assisted death, but he does not qualify for assisted living.
Since the euthanasia lobby thinks that there is not enough killing. The euthanasia lobby recently announced that they are planning to establish a euthanasia clinic in Toronto.
Doctor and hospices are being pressured to participate in euthanasia. Doctors in Ontario are being told that they must refer for MAiD and a BC Health Authority has told hospices that they must participate in MAiD.
A study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine finding that requests for euthanasia are often based on existential distress and not physical pain.
To make matters worse, in June 2017 an Ontario judge extended euthanasia to people who are not terminal ill. The judge redefined the phrase “natural death must be reasonably foreseeable” to permit doctors to kill people who are not terminally ill.
There may be unreported assisted deaths.
The Canadian government established a similar self-reporting system, as exists in the Netherlands and Belgium. This means that the doctor who carries out the death is the same doctor who reports the death (no independent oversight of the law) therefore if under-reporting or abuse of the law occurs, no one will know. Based on the first Québec government's first euthanasia report 14% of the assisted deaths did not comply with the law.
The number of Canadian euthanasia deaths is high when compared to Belgium where there were 235 reported assisted deaths in the first year (2003) of legal euthanasia and 349 in the second year and 393 in its third year after legalization. In 2015, there were 2021 reported Belgian assisted deaths. Belgium has approximately 1/3 of Canada's population.
Data from a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (March 2015) indicated that more than 40% of the assisted deaths in Belgium were not reported in 2013.
Data from a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that 23% of the assisted deaths in the Netherlands were not reported in 2015.
Published with permission from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.