An update on Canada’s euthanasia regime (a summary of which I wrote for First Things a little while ago).
Despite the sad fact that Canada’s Alzheimer’s Society is supporting assisted suicide (how could that go wrong?), nearly every major disability and mental health group is calling on the government to pull back. Pray that Trudeau’s government will listen:
Just look at this list. @JustinTrudeau, @DavidLametti–this is a who's who of Canadian disability and mental health groups. Will you listen to them? Or will we need more bodies and horrifying stories and heartbroken families first? https://t.co/O7AX6lO5GI
— Jonathon Van Maren (@JVanMaren) January 3, 2023
This is now necessary in Canada:
Asking all disability/health related organizations to follow suit. Post your own statement and let people know they are safe accessing your services and that MAiD is not the solution to address poverty and lack of services and support, no matter what some would have you believe. pic.twitter.com/ecYsGNaESS
— Inclusion Canada (@InclusionCA) December 22, 2022
The latest numbers of those opting for assisted suicide continue to rise. Quebec’s euthanasia deaths more than doubled in only two years.
A longform essay in The New Atlantis by freelance journalist Alexander Raikin, who went through two years of MAiD seminars and interviewed over fifty people, takes a comprehensive look at the tragedy we see unfolding. As he notes:
As this article will show, in internal meetings, those close to the system have long talked openly about red flags that many people are choosing euthanasia because they’re not getting the “supports and cares” they need. The physicians in charge of the process not only know that this is happening, but they have discussed it in seminars, collected evidence, and then kept it quiet in public.
The safeguards promised by Trudeau and others to prevent vulnerable people from heading down the road to euthanasia turn out to be vague, pro forma, and easy to get around by doctor-shopping. And interviews with patients and their loved ones show that some of them, perhaps many, are making it to the end of that road.
One of the greatest reasons for concern is the sheer scale of Canada’s euthanasia regime. California provides a useful point of comparison: It legalized medically assisted death the same year as Canada, 2016, and it has about the same population, just under forty million. In 2021 in California, 486 people died using the state’s assisted suicide program. In Canada in the same year, 10,064 people used MAID to die.
Important people — prominent politicians, physicians, and judges — promised Canadians that their rights to autonomy would be expanded. But the picture that emerges is not a new flowering of autonomy but the hum of an efficient engine of death.
Read the whole thing here.
In that context, consider for a moment just how catastrophically—and stupidly—wrong the Canadian Supreme Court was in their Carter decision:
This is the sum total of the Supreme Court's thinking on whether euthanasia-as-Charter-right might go too far. It shows a rather shocking lack of imagination. pic.twitter.com/doKa4QkZYS
— Tristin Hopper (@TristinHopper) December 29, 2022
The Tyee has also weighed in, calling Canada’s regime “a medical and moral failure”: “We’re Making a Terrible Mistake on MAID and Mental Illness.”