By: Konrad Holden
A report from the Canadian Minister of Health revealed that nearly 8,000 people were euthanized in Canada during 2020. The patients who requested medically assisted suicide gave a variety of reasons, but over 1,400 said it was because they felt “isolated and alone.” This is up from the 5,600 that requested “medical assistance in dying” (MAiD) in 2019.
In 2015, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to deny a person the right to medically-assisted suicide. The country has authorized certain physicians and nurse practitioners to aid patients in medical suicide with some restrictions.
Patients must be able to give informed consent and have some sort of “grievous and irremediable medical condition,” “have intolerable suffering,” or some form of advanced disease they would reasonably end in death.
In 2020, the number of medically-assisted suicides jumped 30% from 5,600 to 8,000. According to statistics from Canada’s Minister of Health Patty Hajdu, over 1,400 of the deaths-by-physician resulted from patients feeling “isolated and alone.” That accounts for 18% of all MAiD deaths in 2020.
This period of MAiD statistics coincides with Canada’s nationwide lockdowns due to COVID19 which kept family members and friends from visiting their sick loved ones.
More than 1,200 committed suicide who had no terminal illness. Over 2,600 others listed that they felt like a burden to their family, friends, or caregivers as a reason.
“The current Canadian government is committed to more death by euthanasia.” - Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition