canada-ft0204-5685-kanada-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
Canada ft0204_5685 Kanada
Canada ft0204_5685 Kanada
Share
Facebook
Twitter
Print
arroba Email

Humanize Hundreds of Sick Canadians Euthanized Over Loneliness

Original at National Review

Good grief. We are told that euthanasia is “compassion.” But how compassionate is it when last year in Canada, hundreds of sick people were euthanized because of loneliness?

The country’s 2019 MAID [medical assistance in dying] Annual Report found that 13.7 percent of the 5,631 Canadians killed by doctors asked to be lethally injected because of “isolation or loneliness.” If my math is right, that’s about 771 people, or 64 a month, or two per day. Good grief!

Some of the other reasons people gave for asking to be killed:

  • Loss of ability to engage in enjoyable activities, 82.1 percent. That’s a serious concern, but with proper interventions, it can be overcome.
  • Loss of ability to perform activities of daily living, 78.1 percent. Ditto.
  • “Inadequate control of pain (or concern about it),” 53.9 percent. That’s a scandalously high percentage. Palliative and hospice pain-control experts will tell you that most serious pain in terminal illnesses can be successfully alleviated.
  • Loss of dignity, 53.3 percent. Again, this is a serious concern but can be overcome with appropriate care.
  • Perceived burden on family, friends, and caregivers, 34 percent. In other words, people put themselves out of their loved one’s misery.
  • Emotional distress/anxiety/fear/existential suffering, 4.7 percent.

These statistics are scandalous and should make Canada deeply ashamed.

Alas, most Canadians are proud that their doctors can legally kill sick people whose deaths are “reasonably foreseeable.” Not only that, but the country is now engaged in the process that will expand the conditions qualifying for lethal injection, including incompetent people with dementia if they asked to be put down in an advance directive.

It’s so bad, that in Ontario, if a doctor refuses to euthanize a legally qualified patient or find another doctor he or she knows will kill, they risk professional discipline.

This isn’t just about Canada. The country is our closest cultural cousin. If we swallow the hemlock as our northern cousins have, the same lethal pattern could unfold here.

How bad would it be? Canada has about one-ninth the population of the United States. If the same percentage of people euthanized in Canada were killed by doctors in the U.S.A., it would add up to more than 50,0oo medical homicides per year. Do we really want that?

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.