The number of euthanasia deaths rose by 34% last year, critics told the Daily Mail
There were at least 13,500 cases of medically assisted suicide in Canada in 2022 fiscal year, up from just over 10,000 the year before, activists from the group Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) have revealed.
Euthanasia rates are "skyrocketing," the group's director Alex Schadenberg told the Daily Mail on Wednesday, because the procedure has been normalized by a "heavy promotion of MAiD in our medical system." MAiD stands for "medical assistance in dying."
"Every major healthcare institution has a MAiD team which will literally approach everyone who may qualify for MAiD and ask them if they want to die," Schadenberg said. "If you're going to pay people to be on a MAiD team, they will sell what they are offering."
There were 10,064 recorded instances of MAiD nationwide in the 2021 fiscal year, which runs from April to March. Over the past year, that number rose by 34%, EPC told the outlet, citing their projections based on data from four provinces - Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Canadian health authorities are supposed to publish official numbers next month.
According to the group, Ontario had 3,934 cases of MAiD in FY 2022, up 27% from 3,102 in FY 2021. Alberta had a 41% year-on-year jump, from 594 to 836 cases. Quebec went from 2,427 cases to 3,663 in a shocking 51% increase. State-sanctioned death is now the third top cause of mortality in the province, after cancer and heart disease, the EPC said.
Daniel Zekveld of the Christian advocacy group ARPA argued that Canada has created "one of the most permissive euthanasia regimes in the world," and is increasingly offering the procedure "as an easy solution to suffering" instead of providing life-affirming care to its people.
The pro-euthanasia group Dying With Dignity has argued that MAiD is "driven by compassion, an end to suffering and discrimination and desire for personal autonomy."
Canada's top court ruled in 2015 that banning assisted suicide violated the people's rights to "dignity and autonomy." The following year, the parliament in Ottawa legalized assisted suicide for people 18 and over, provided they had a terminal condition or disability that was causing them suffering.
Since then, however, the criteria have continued to expand. In February, a parliamentary committee recommended expanding access to assisted suicide to "mature minors" even without parental consent.
Only six other countries have legalized euthanasia so far: Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain.