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Isolated elderly are struggling to find the will to continue to live: Ontario doctor

Ontario doctor reveals that otherwise healthy elderly patients, suffering from extreme loneliness and isolation due to the lockdowns, are asking for assisted suicide.
Mon May 3, 2021 - 1:40 pm EST
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Dr. Justine Amaro CBC screenshot

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OTTAWA, Ontario, May 3, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — An emergency room physician at The Ottawa Hospital said she is seeing an alarming increase in patients, especially among the elderly, who are struggling to find the will to continue to live, as they are isolated from their loved ones due to COVID rules.

In retirement homes, visiting is rarely allowed, meaning that elderly people are alone living without contact with their families and loved ones. Instead, they are being cared for by masked healthcare workers.

Dr. Justine Amaro said that some of her patients have asked to be given assisted suicide. This was not a result of any physical illness; the patients were “just were tired of being so alone.”

She described meeting an elderly patient who asked her for assisted suicide. “I’ve literally sat with an elderly person who has begged me to please provide them with medical assistance in dying,” she said, “because they would rather die than continue living in an isolated way.”

“It breaks my heart to watch people literally feeling they would rather end their life than they would continue to live on in a way where they are alone,” she continued.

During the first months of the pandemic, hospitals experienced an increase in patients suffering from the coronavirus. However, recently, hospitals have seen fewer patients suffering from COVID-19, but an increase in patients suffering from mental health problems.

“Our department is filled with patients right now with mental health problems,” Amaro told CBC News. According to Amaro, these patients did not have a prior history of such issues, but were coming in with new mental health crises. Some even desire suicide, not wanting to live anymore because of the ongoing lockdowns. This was particularly the case with the elderly.

Starting in early April, Ontarians have been experiencing the strictest lockdown measures yet, and a stay-at-home order with threats of police checks for being outside without sufficient reason. This means continued isolation for Ontarians and the elderly population in particular. Since the coronavirus is known to disproportionally affect the elderly, politicians have instituted rules isolating them in the hope of “saving lives” — a measure that appears to backfire.

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Amaro further pointed out that she has never seen so many patients suffering from mental health crises in her 17 years of working in emergency medicine. “The social isolation,” she said, “has taken a huge toll on all of us.”

Additionally, many patients are being denied essential health care services. According to Amaro, one patient went into septic shock due to a gall bladder infection. “He was dying of a life-threatening problem that, had he presented himself earlier, it could have been dealt with,” she said.

Many are calling for the removal of the current restrictions. On April 29, Roman Baber, MPP for York Centre, tweeted the video of Amaro explaining the mental health crisis, and called out Ontario Premier Doug Ford, as well as Christine Elliott, the Ontario Minister of Health, for the current mental health situation.


  justine amaro, lockdowns, mental health

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