Canada has had another record year for deaths by euthanasia, with a 35% increase to some 13,500 state-sanctioned suicides in 2022, according to an analysis of official data.
Canada’s health chiefs won’t release their official tally for a few weeks, but data from Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and Nova Scotia already show a sharp rise in euthanasia deaths this year. last.
Based on these figures, the Coalition for the Prevention of Euthanasia, a campaign group, estimated that cases of medical assistance in dying (MAID) have increased from 10,064 in 2021 to some 13,500 in 2022.
They shared this projection exclusively with DailyMail.com.
Canada has one of the most permissive assisted suicide programs in the world. Critics say it is on a perilous road to mass euthanasia and ever-increasing pressure on the sick, disabled and poor to end their lives prematurely.
Coalition director Alex Schadenberg said euthanasia rates were skyrocketing because “strong promotion of MAID within our medical system” had “normalized” lethal injections.
Official data from Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and Nova Scotia already show a sharp increase in euthanasia deaths last year
Canada allows doctors to give lethal injections and MD candidates to receive deadly drugs they can take at home, like in this photo
“Every major healthcare facility has a MAID team that will literally approach anyone who might be eligible for MAID and ask if they want to die,” Schadenberg told DailyMail.com.
Daniel Zekveld, an analyst at ARPA Canada, a Christian advocacy group, said Canada has created “one of the most permissive euthanasia regimes in the world” where deaths are “steadily increasing”.
“Safeguards continue to be relaxed and euthanasia is increasingly offered as an easy solution to suffering,” Zekveld told DailyMail.com.
“Instead of normalizing euthanasia and accepting the death of thousands of Canadians, Canada must promote suicide prevention and life-saving care for all.”
Health Canada, the federal government agency, did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
It is expected to release its tally of euthanasias and deaths by assisted suicide early next month.
Alberta, Ontario and Quebec are among the most populous provinces in Canada.
All have seen large increases in the number of adults with a serious illness, disease or disability opting for euthanasia in the last year.
Quebec saw a 51% increase in MAID deaths, from 2,427 in fiscal year 2021 to 3,663 in 2022.
This means that approximately 7% of all deaths in Quebec are state sanctioned, making it the third leading cause of death in the province after cancer and heart disease.
Many Canadians support euthanasia and the campaign group, Dying With Dignity, says the procedures are “driven by compassion, an end to suffering and discrimination and a desire for personal autonomy”.
But rights groups say the country’s regulations lack the necessary safeguards, devalue the lives of people with disabilities and encourage doctors and health workers to suggest the procedure to those who wouldn’t otherwise consider it.
The number of MAID deaths in Canada has steadily increased by about a third each year over the previous year
It is not yet clear whether the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (center) will push to expand access to assisted suicides
Euthanasia is legal in seven countries – Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain – as well as in several states in Australia
Canadian politicians are currently debating whether to expand access to MAID to include children and the mentally ill.
Canadians are overwhelmingly in favor of the euthanasia policy, according to polls. A survey released in May showed more than a quarter of voters said the poor and homeless should be allowed to end their lives on MAID.
Alex Schadenberg, director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Canada’s road to allowing euthanasia began in 2015, when its highest court ruled that the ban on assisted suicide robs people of their dignity and autonomy. He gave national leaders a year to draft legislation.
The resulting 2016 law legalized both euthanasia and assisted suicide for people aged 18 and over, provided they met certain conditions: they had to have a condition, illness or disability serious and advanced that caused suffering and their death was imminent.
The law was later amended to allow people who are not terminally ill to choose death, greatly expanding the number of eligible people.
Critics say the change removed a key safeguard aimed at protecting people with potentially decades of life remaining.
Today, any adult with a serious illness, disease or disability can request assistance in dying.
Schadenberg said MAID teams in clinics were aggressively pushing sick people to opt for euthanasia.
More than a quarter of Canadians now say being poor or homeless can justify a deadly cocktail of drugs
Should Canada’s estimated 30,000 homeless be eligible for lethal injections? A lot of people say they should. Pictured: Homeless people in Vancouver
He described cases of doctors asking terminally ill patients up to five times if they wanted to end their lives. In some cases, they were asked when relatives were present, and again when they were alone, Schadenberg said.
“The sale of MAiD by MAiD teams is a major reason why the numbers are soaring.
“If you’re going to pay people to be on a MAiD team, they’ll sell what they’re offering,” Schadenberg said.
Euthanasia is legal in seven countries – Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain – as well as in several states in Australia. It is only available for children in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Other jurisdictions, including a growing number of US states, allow physician-assisted suicide – in which patients take the drug themselves, usually crushing and drinking a lethal dose of pills prescribed by a doctor.
In Canada, both options are called MAID, although more than 99.9% of these procedures are performed by a doctor. The number of MAID deaths in Canada has steadily increased by about one-third each year over the previous year.