And even infants might be next.
What is officially known as Medical Assistance in Dying has been legal in Canada since 2016, when the Canadian Supreme Court legalized it. At the time, doctors could aid a patient who was terminally ill and had no more than six months to live.
Six years later, suicides there have jumped by double digits – 10,064 assisted deaths were officially recorded in 2021 – and represented 3% of all deaths in Canada last year.
Dr. Larry Worthen of the Christian Medical and Dental Association of Canada tells AFN those numbers will only grow because the once-strict limitations have been greatly loosened.
“Last year we had it expand to include persons with disabilities [and] people with chronic conditions,” he advises, referring to the revised MAID law that now flatly states natural death is an unreasonable barrier to killing yourself with a doctor’s blessing.
“These changes to the Criminal Code now allow MAID for eligible persons who wish to pursue a medically assisted death, whether their natural death is reasonably foreseeable or not,” an official Government of Canada document states. “The new law will reduce unnecessary suffering in Canada.”
Canadians who suffer from mental illness, and who are being encouraged by their own government to choose a permanent solution, must wait a little while longer: That allowance kicks in March 17, 2023.
Canada is among approximately 30 countries that offer free or “universal” health care to its citizens, which is considered a source of national pride by liberal-led governments. However, a recent study by the libertarian-leaning Fraser Institute pointed out the lack of medical help inside Canada's government-run hospitals and doctors’ offices. Canada ranks at the top as the “highest spender” but it offers fewer physicians, MRI machines, and CT scanners than other countries around the world, the study found.
Considering the money that is being spent, even Canada’s number of hospital beds ranks 23rd out of 28 countries, the Fraser study found.
Joint Committee will decide if newborns are next
According to Dr. Worthen, who is a Nova Scotia family physician, a parliamentary committee is currently studying expanding the already-low bar to include young children, including newborns who can be killed with parental approval.
Alarmed by his claim, AFN found an Oct. 11 National Post story that confirms Dr. Worthern’s somber warning. The story says the Quebec College of Physicians is recommending MAID if an infant is born with “severe malformations,” and “grave and severe syndromes,” that mean survival is unlikely.
The medical group made the recommendation to the Special Joint Committee of Medical Assistance in Dying.
Meanwhile, Dr. Worthen is well aware of the 32% jump in euthanasia from 2020 to 2021.
“And there are some regions in Canada,” he says, “where the rate is over 7% of all deaths are euthanasia deaths.”