Canada: New Assisted Dying Law Will Claim Unintended Victims

by Will Johnston, Huffington Post, 28 September 2016

Dr Johnston, a family physician in Vancouver, writes that abuses of the new Canadian ‘assisted dying’ law are already becoming apparent, as shown in two cases from his personal experience.

  1. 1. No-one talks to him …

A friend, herself dealing with advanced ovarian cancer, heard from a neighbour that his wife was going to get assisted suicide. The neighbour said they would be going to a doctor in Vancouver to get this done. This baffled my friend, who had seen the woman outside her home, gardening. The husband made other comments suggesting that his wife would be dead soon. She had heart trouble.

I will let my friend’s words testify to the end of that story: 

We went on a two-day visit to the grandsons and came back on June 7 (the designated day of the euthanasia) and his balcony was draped in black crepe. 

Several days later I bumped into him at the mailbox and he complained that none of the neighbours had given condolences even though he made it obvious that [his wife] had “passed.” I asked him how he was and he said that his wife had a nice last day, that she liked the walk around the seawall.

He also told me that he felt sorry for the poor doctor because she was so tired because she had so many euthanasias that day. He and the boyfriend are now residing together in a big new travel coach parked elsewhere in the same trailer park and the Mustang has become the vehicle of preference and he sold his house. No one talks to him…”

2. This disabled man, who was nowhere near dying, was instead killed by a Vancouver physician

Dr Johnston was contacted by the wife of a depressed young man with a neurological disease living in a shared room in a “dingy nursing home” and who never went outside. He visited him and found that

this patient had lost hope for the future and felt his existence was meaningless and that death was the only solution. This death-focused tunnel vision defines a suicidal depression, and any able-bodied person would be given psychological help to relieve it. This disabled man, who was nowhere near dying, was instead killed by a Vancouver physician. 

The physician’s rationale for circumventing the law, reportedly given over the phone before she met or examined the patient, was that he could easily get bed sores and then die of infection, so that his death “was reasonably foreseeable.”

What surprised his wife was “how easy” it was for her depressed, self-isolated husband to be killed under the new regime. What seems obvious is that the whole nature of this death is not going to be reported to the Minister of Health or the Minister of Justice — there is no transparency to this system. 

Click here to read the full article.