(LifeSiteNews) – The head of a prominent anti-euthanasia group said “killing” has now become a “business” in Canada after blasting a recent report about a Quebec funeral home charging $700 for patients to partake in government-sanctioned, doctor-led suicide in a private “room.”
Complexe funeraire Haut-Richelieu owner Mathieu Baker, as per a CBC report, said his service, which includes the use of his facilities for a doctor to perform euthanasia or Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), is a “first in Quebec.” He added that it is a “very personal act that should be respected and done properly.”
The funeral home rents a private room for a minimum of $700 in which medical personnel can take the life of a person’s loved one via euthanasia. The rooms, Baker said, are for those looking to have the procedure done outside of a hospital setting.
The actual cost of euthanasia is covered for free by Quebec’s medical insurance.
Deaths by euthanasia have skyrocketed in Quebec since the practice was legalized in 2016, going from 63 in 2016 to 3,663 in 2021-2022. That makes Quebec the province with the highest rate of euthanasia in Canada, with the government of the province alone spending nearly $6 million on the procedure.
Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, wrote in a recent blog that the Quebec funeral home highlights how “killing has become a business in Canada.”
“Hospitals and nursing homes save money by killing their patients and funeral homes can save money by having clients walk into the business and rent a death room, rather than being picked up, thus creating further profits for the funeral home,” he said.
Schadenberg highlighted the disturbing details of some examples of people who have chosen to die in the Quebec funeral home, as per a La Presse report.
In one instance, a 78-year-old man had coffee and pastries with loved ones in the morning before being injected a death blow by a doctor while Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah played in the background.
Schadenberg highlighted how Dr. Claude Rivard, who provides euthanasia, said plainly that there is a market in Quebec for funeral homes to offer MAiD.
“There is a craze for this mode of end of life,” he told La Presse.
However, the funeral homeowners’ own mother was severely opposed to offering MAiD, with Baker telling La Presse, “She didn’t talk to me for a month. She didn’t agree. That her son was doing this in the family business, it came to her.”
Even the pro-euthanasia Quebec government has concerns over the monetization of MAiD. Sonia Belanger, Quebec’s minister responsible for seniors, noted in the CBC report that “the important thing is to put people’s wishes first, while ensuring that the proposals are not part of a monetization of the practice.”
A recent poll revealed that while more than one-quarter of Canadians support expanding euthanasia for those who are poor or homeless, most oppose any further expansion or relaxation of Canada’s MAiD laws.
The federal Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau legalized euthanasia in 2016. Since that time, he has continued to push to further expand who can qualify for state-sanctioned death.
Last week, a private member’s Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) bill that would repeal the expansion of euthanasia laws to those suffering solely from mental illness got its first official debate in the House of Commons.
The bill – officially known as Bill C-314, “An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying)” – was introduced in February by CPC MP Ed Fast. It received immediate praise from Canada’s top pro-life organization, Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), after it passed its first reading.
The expansion to include MAiD to those suffering solely from mental illness came as part of the 2021 passage of Bill C-7, which also allowed the chronically ill – not just the terminally ill – to qualify for doctor-assisted death.
The mental illness expansion was originally set to take effect in March. However, after massive pushback from pro-life groups, conservative politicians and others, the Liberals under Trudeau delayed the introduction of the full effect of Bill C-7 until 2024 via Bill C-39, which became law on March 9.
The delay comes after numerous public scandals, including reports that veterans were being offered the fatal procedure by workers at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).
The expansion of euthanasia to those with mental illness will automatically become law in spring 2024, but because the date is more than a year away, there is a chance a new government could stop it.