Posted 7 декабря 2022,, 18:03

Published 7 декабря 2022,, 18:03

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Threat to the nation: 10,000 Canadians die each year from euthanasia

Threat to the nation: 10,000 Canadians die each year from euthanasia

7 декабря 2022, 18:03
Фото: Daily Compass
Experts call Canada's euthanasia law a real existential threat to people with disabilities, comparable to the policies of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Canada is one of the countries that allows euthanasia. However, even for those who believe that death can be a worthy relief from constant suffering, the scale of the Canadian craze for assisted suicide can be horrifying. More than 10,000 citizens of the country committed suicide in this way last year. This is 3% of all deaths. In a year, the number of euthanasias has increased by a third, and next year, most likely, will become even more, because the authorities intend to allow people to die solely for mental health reasons, writes the Daily Mail.

Recently, the Canadian press published an article about Army veteran and Paralympian Christine Gauthier, who suffers from paralysis of the lower half of her body. In 1989, Gauthier injured her spine in a training accident and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since. Nevertheless, she tries to lead an active lifestyle and at the 2016 Paralympic Games she received a gold medal in canoeing and a silver medal as a member of the sledge hockey team. For several years, the athlete fought to install a ramp in her house. Another round of battles with the authorities ended with a Department of Veterans Affairs official suggesting euthanasia to the Paralympian as an alternative. “I have a letter that says: if you are in such despair, madam, we can offer you a maid and medical assistance for an assisted death”, Gauthier said. According to the athlete, she expressed her concern in a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He called the incident “absolutely unacceptable,” but Gauthier’s case is not unique. According to an Associated Press investigation, a practice that should be seen as a redemption in the worst cases in Canada often becomes the solution to any problems.

Alan Nichols, 61, was hospitalized in 2019 for fear he might be suicidal. He did have a history of depression and several other diseases, but none of them posed a threat to life. At first, Nichols asked his brother to "get him out" as soon as possible, but a month after entering the hospital, he filed a petition for euthanasia. He cited his deafness as the reason, and, surprisingly, the petition was granted.

Rod McNeil, 71, was admitted to the hospital after he fell and was euthanized a month later. Its cause was named end-stage COPD. However, the autopsy did not reveal the disease. Before performing an assisted suicide, the doctors did not even request the patient's medical record from his doctor.

Robert Foley, a patient with a degenerative brain disorder, secretly recorded his conversations with doctors at the hospital where he was being treated. In one conversation, the director of ethics informs Foley that he will cost over $1,500 a day in the hospital and asks if he is interested in assisted suicide. When the patient remarked that he himself did not raise this topic, he was told that the staff were allowed to ask such questions.

Medical professionals and Canadian Health Service officials say they are deeply concerned about treating death as a cure for anything. The purpose of medicine is to prolong life, not to shorten it, and offering help with suicide in cases that can be solved in another way is a direct violation of the Hippocratic Oath. The grounds for euthanasia in Canada can even be diabetes or homelessness. And soon there will be a legislative obligation to consider suicide as a treatment for mental health. That is, a psychiatrist may suggest that a severely depressed person die. It is easy to imagine that many patients would be enthusiastic about such an outcome. The country's authorities are also considering extending euthanasia to "mature" minors - that is, teenagers under the age of 18.

Doctors and human rights activists say Canada's euthanasia laws are especially dangerous for people with disabilities. There is evidence that some people with disabilities ask for death and receive it simply because they cannot pay medical bills. Experts call Canada's euthanasia law a real existential threat to people with disabilities, comparable to the policies of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Indeed, medically assisted death may seem like a good option to solve the problem of lack of funds in the case when, for example, you need to set up a nursing home for an infirm relative. The same goes for staff at Canadian hospitals and nursing homes, who are reportedly already putting pressure on critically ill patients and their families to help ease the strain on the system.

Death is indeed cheaper. A 2017 Canadian study found that medically assisted dying could cut the country's healthcare costs by as much as $137 million a year.