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Canadian man, 20, will die by assisted suicide because of horrific illness

A 20-year-old plans to die by assisted suicide after his gut burst and ruined his health.

Eric Coulan, of Fort St. John in British Columbia, wants to die on his terms after a blockage that doctors couldn’t diagnose in 2020 and gave him sepsis.

He told CJDC: ‘Suffering comes to an end. I suffer all day. I’ve been in a room with four walls for a long time and I’m just tired of it.’

Coulan spent much of his childhood taking medications for stomach pains, which caused him severe discomfort.

But despite trying seven different hospitals across Canada, doctors were unable to diagnose him except that he had suffered a blockage.

The issue came to a head two years ago when Coulan became so ill that he had to have emergency surgery to remove part of his lower bowel.

Eric Coulan, pictured in May, plans to end his own life using Canada's end-of-life care law

Coulan, pictured in 2020, says his quality of life has declined after his bowel ruptured during surgery two years ago, giving him sepsis

Eric Coulan, pictured left, in May and right, in 2020, wants to end his own life with the help of Canada’s end-of-life care law due to an abdominal condition that nearly killed him and ruined his quality of life

Coulan is pictured at his farewell party in May.  He doesn't know when he'll end his own life, but decided to do so after being told he'd need to transplant six organs to survive — and even then he'd only have a 50 percent chance of recovery

Coulan is pictured at his farewell party in May. He doesn’t know when he’ll end his own life, but decided to do so after being told he’d need to transplant six organs to survive — and even then he’d only have a 50 percent chance of recovery

It ruptured, leaving Coulan in septic shock and a coma.

He recalled, “I went to the emergency room and got a bed right away and that night (it) tore and (I) was put into a coma for I can’t remember how long.”

After he regained consciousness, Coulan was told the only hope of possible recovery was to undergo six organ transplants — something medics say had never been attempted before.

Even then, doctors warned there was only a 50 percent chance of recovery, Coulan said. They haven’t been able to give him a prognosis for how long he could survive in his current condition, but Coulan said life is too painful to endure.

He has lost significant weight, struggles to speak and is a shadow of the healthy teenager he was two years ago.

He held a farewell barbecue on May 22, but has yet to decide when he will commit suicide

Coulan explained: “I’ll go when I’m ready. It’s not when I’m sick. It’s not when they get my meds. It’s when I’m ready.’

He uses Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) law to end his life.

MAID is available to adults with a “serious and irreversible medical condition” who have voluntarily decided to die.

It sees them injected with a drug that will cause a painless death, or a drug prescribed to take orally that will kill them too.

Eric Coulan, has endured debilitating pain since he was diagnosed with abdominal issues at a young age.  An endoscopy revealed a blockage, but the doctors were unable to locate the problem.

Eric Coulan, has endured debilitating pain since he was diagnosed with abdominal issues at a young age. An endoscopy revealed a blockage, but the doctors were unable to locate the problem.

Coulan said he and his father were planning a bonfire with a few people, but six hundred people showed up and gave him a king signal.

Coulan said he and his father were planning a bonfire with a few people, but six hundred people showed up and gave him a king signal.

Coulan is pictured at his farewell party in May.  He says his family supported his decision to kill himself

Coulan is pictured at his farewell party in May. He says his family supported his decision to kill himself

The once lively young man, who worked as a mechanic and enjoyed snowboarding and water sports with friends, spending time with his girlfriend and being outside with his dogs, normally the best years of a young person’s life, had already had little to do with . quality of life.

Coulan’s days were spent in a hospital room connected to machines, and in aching pain, he decided “it was time.”

The law, introduced in 2016 and further amended by the Canadian government in March 2021, will allow a wider range of people to qualify and have medically assisted suicide.

Speaking to CJBC, Coulan added that he was “not in a good place” and haunted his family as he pondered his journey to the end of his life.

When he shared his decision with everyone, he said he received an overwhelming amount of support.

A Facebook group, Eric’s Army, was created where he received numerous messages of love and support. Many were inspired by his courage.

Coulan said he and his father were planning a bonfire with a few people, but six hundred people showed up and gave him a king signal.

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