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Richard Leskun and his late wife Marilynn. The B.C. Catholic

VANCOUVER (LifeSiteNews) — A Canadian man has accused staff at a hospital in British Columbia of pressuring him into having his now-late wife euthanized back in 2018. 

Richard Leskun, 75, whose 71-year-old wife Marilynn died in 2018, recently told The B.C. Catholic that staff at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia repeatedly “pressured” and “badgered” him to let his wife die, and, when he refused, offered to euthanize her despite his continued insistence that he was pro-life.  

According to the report, Leskun had made his pro-life views known to the hospital’s staff on multiple occasions, including during a special meeting in which he insisted that he was entirely opposed to euthanasia.  

“At that meeting, I was very clear: I’m a Catholic and I’m absolutely against medically assisted dying,” he relayed to the outlet. “I’m against euthanasia. I want my wife to live. I want her to continue living. We’ve had a good life for 10 years, even though she has dementia. I was very clear.” 

Read: Canadian man claims hospital is ‘pressuring’ him to choose assisted suicide 

Despite his continued refusals, Leskun said that the hospital staff “pressured” and “badgered” him numerous times to sign a “Do Not Resuscitate” order, and that within an eight-day period, he was asked five different times to sign the order, despite objecting each time.

It was a specialist physician, Leskun said, who finally offered him the option of euthanasia for his wife.

“The hospitalist is the one who came to me, quite late in the evening, on the night before she died,” Leskun said. “I was absolutely worn, frazzled, completely worn out. I was there every day, almost 24/7, and he said to me, ‘You know, I have written orders for medically assisted dying.’” 

Leskun said that he remembered the hospitalist trying to convince him to “look at the big picture.”

“I did not know what he meant by that, but it shows how little he valued her individual life,” Leskun said. “I was probably too tired to jump down his throat or whatever. I said no, for sure. I was too tired to feel anything. But I was saying no, absolutely not.”  

However, hours later, when it became clear that his wife was dying, and Leskun finally agreed to sign the DNR order, he was told by nurses that it had already been put in place without his approval. 

“The nurse said to me, and this shocked me, the nurse said, ‘Oh, it’s OK, the doctor has already put a DNR on,’” Leskun said. “And this was done without my approval. I never gave consent until that moment. [But] she said, ‘It’s already on there. It’s already on the chart.’” 

Marilynn died the next morning on December 8, 2018. Leskun said he has come forward to reveal his story after reading reports by The BC Catholic describing the Fraser Health Authority’s push for MAiD (medical assistance in dying) on hospitals under their authority, which includes the Abbotsford Hospital.

Having himself experienced the hospital’s push for euthanasia, Leskun felt the need to share an insider’s perspective out of concern for others who may have loved ones in hospitals where euthanasia is being promoted or suggested. 

“Now that the health system offers both death and life, you must speak strongly and clearly if you want life,” he advised. “Ensure that your primary care doctor believes in your principles and is willing to act powerfully to negotiate for the care you need.”

Read: Canada’s assisted suicide machine is fed by a lack of support for those who need help the most 

As Canada’s MAiD laws continue to become more lenient – in 2021 the passage of  Bill C-7 allowed those who are just chronically ill but not yet terminally ill, to qualify for doctor-assisted death – accusations against hospital staff and other workers of pushing the procedure have risen to the forefront of the nation’s news cycle. 

Last year, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition reported on the case of Roger Foley, a Canadian man suffering from cerebellar ataxia, who was continuously pressured to choose euthanasia by Victoria Hospital in London, Ontario, while being simultaneously denied the treatment he actually needed. Foley was told by the hospital that if he did not receive the funding necessary for his treatment, he should just apply for euthanasia. 

“I’ve been pressured to do an assisted suicide,” Foley told The New York Post at the time. “They asked if I want an assisted death. I don’t. I was told that I would be charged $1,800 per day [for hospital care]. I have $2 million worth of bills. Nurses here told me that I should end my life. That shocked me.”  

Despite the dramatic rise in euthanasia deaths in Canada since its legalization in 2016 and its continued liberalization thereafter – Canada saw a 32 percent increase in such deaths since 2020, topping over 10,000 in 2021 alone – the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is slated to expand the law even further next March, to include those suffering solely from mental illness.