Canada has erected few roadblocks to assisted suicide and euthanasia since it became legal in 2016 when the Canadian Supreme Court forced the issue. Since then, the requirements to determine who qualifies for euthanasia have expanded. For example, in a recent case a Canadian military veteran suffering with PTSD was pressed by his medical team to consider euthanasia – or "medical assistance in dying" (MAID), as it's called there.
According to Global News, the veteran wasn't seeking such advice – and was shocked when it was offered. After he lodged several complaints with Veterans Affairs Canada, the agency confirmed MAID had been discussed "inappropriately" with the man, "deeply regrets" what transpired, and plans to take appropriate administrative action.
Rita Marker of Ohio-based Patients Rights Council tells AFN of another case, in 2019, involving a man who was hospitalized for depression, treated, and then released. But within a month, he submitted a request to be euthanized. Marker describes what happened.
"His family and a nurse practitioner were against it, but the application for euthanasia was listed as the only condition that was the reason for his request," says Marker. "[But] he was given euthanasia, he was killed – and the reason for his request was hearing loss."
Alan Nichols was 61 – and after he had been euthanized, his family went to the police, arguing that because of his history of mental illness he could not have fully understood the issue. Nevertheless, the police determined Nichols' euthanasia was justified.
Marker laments that restrictions on euthanasia are so wide open that now Canada is moving closer to legalizing child euthanasia.
"They're [arguing that if] children ages 12 on up can make their own decisions as far as gender identity, why shouldn't they be able to get this?" she says. "So, now some are suggesting that children from the ages of 12 on up should be able to request [to be euthanized] if, in fact, this is what they want."
Marker has told AFN repeatedly in the past that the only way to stop euthanasia is not legalize it to begin with.