Finally, after 40,000 or so deaths, Canadians are having second thoughts about legalised euthanasia.
Euthanasia deaths in Canada have shot upwards like a skyrocket. In 2015 there were none; in 2021, the last full year for which there are statistics, there were 10,064. On current trends another 10,000 died in 2022, bringing the total to 40,000.
But Justin Trudeau’s government believed that it was being too restrictive. It announced that it would permit patients with mental illness to request “medical assistance in dying”. This was due to begin on March 17.
Canada’s media, politicians and voters have been firmly behind MAiD. But as this deadline approached, a number of cases emerged of people who applied for MAiD simply because they didn’t have housing, or because they couldn’t access mental health care, or because they were lonely. At least four military veterans were pressured by a caseworker to accept MaiD, including a paralympian.
People began to realise that something was wrong — very wrong. A Toronto psychiatrist who had helped hundreds of people to die, Madeleine Li, told the BBC that Canada had gone too far. “Making death too ready a solution disadvantages the most vulnerable people, and actually lets society off the hook,” Dr Li said. “I don’t think death should be society’s solution for its own failures.”
In this astonishing documentary from Canada’s premier investigative journalism program, The Fifth Estate, journalist Gillian Findlay interviews several critics of the MAiD. Despite reassurances from the Minister for Justice, David Lametti, it shows that Canada is about to fall off a cliff.
It’s well worth watching.