Approximately 19,000 people have died by euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada

Last week, I noted that Justin Trudeau’s new euthanasia regime will be a threat to disabled people among so many others once Bill C-7 passes. We’re headed towards suicide on demand, and after that, suicide for “mature minors.” Once that’s settled, we’ll head towards territory currently occupied only by the Dutch—child euthanasia.

With this flurry of bad news on the suicide front, it’s important not to lose sight of the mounting death toll here in Canada, which as been horribly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing epidemic of loneliness. According to Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition:

I estimate that there have been approximately 19,000 deaths by euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada since legalization. Here is how I come to that number.

The Ontario Office of the Chief Coroner recently released new MAID data (euthanasia and assisted suicide deaths). 

The number of assisted deaths, in Ontario, continues to increase. From June 17, 2016 to September 30, 2020, there were 6059 reported assisted deaths with 1741 reported assisted deaths in 2020 already representing 1127 in the first six months and 614 in the last three months of 2020, now averaging more than 200 assisted deaths per month in Ontario.

In Ontario there were 1789 reported assisted deaths in 2019, 1499 in 2018, 841 in 2017, and 189 in 2016. The 1789 reported assisted deaths in 2019 represented 774 in the first half of the year and 1015 in the second half.

In July, 2020, Health Canada released the first annual report on (MAiD) euthanasia and assisted suicide. The data was gathered from the reports submitted by the medical practitioners who caused the death. There is no requirement that a third party or neutral person submit the euthanasia reports to ensure accuracy.

The report provided information on the 2019 Canadian MAiD deaths. According to the report:

  • In 2019, there were 5,631 MAID deaths reported in Canada, up from 4467 in 2018, accounting for 2.0% of all deaths.
  • The number of cases of MAID in 2019 represented an increase of 26.1% over 2018 with every province experiencing a steady growth in the number of cases of MAID since its introduction into law in 2016.
  • When all data sources are considered, the total of number of medically assisted deaths reported in Canada from legalization until December 31, 2019 was 13,946.

Based on the fact that the Health Canada report indicated that there were 5631 reported MAID deaths in 2019. It is reasonable to estimate that there have been approximately 19,000 assisted deaths in Canada since legalization.

And despite all of the government promises, only a fraction of Canadians can actually access palliative care even if they desire it. Suicide is a swift and “easy” option. Dying with dignity in a palliative care home? Not so much.

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If you’re interested in learning how to talk about this issue with peers, check out this little book co-authored by myself and my colleague Blaise Alleyne, A Guide to Discussing Assisted Suicide. You can buy it for $10 here.

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