by Yuan Yi Zhu
Tuesday, 20
December 2022
News
10:05

Leaked slides reveal dark side of Canada’s euthanasia policy

Patients are now seeking death because they cannot afford to live
by Yuan Yi Zhu
Anti-assisted dying demonstrators protest in front of Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Canada, 2016.

Since Canada’s euthanasia regime broke into the global public consciousness earlier this year, people across the world have been horrified by stories of ordinary Canadians choosing to die at the hands of a doctor instead of carrying on living in poverty, of disabled Canadians told to kill themselves by bureaucrats, and of plans to extend euthanasia access to the mentally ill and to “mature minors”.

But until now, defenders of Canada’s MAiD (medical assistance in dying) regime have pushed back aggressively, accusing their critics of spreading disinformation, or worse. They hide behind the fact that poverty is not in and of itself a legal ground for accessing euthanasia, or else claim that the cases of abuse reported in the media are outliers. And because of the opacity that naturally comes with the medicalised rituals of death, it has been difficult for outsiders to know exactly what goes on between the doctor’s office and the funeral home.


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Now we know more. Alexander Raikin, a writer based in Washington D.C., has unearthed a cache of publicly accessible but hitherto unreported training material created by the Canadian Association of MAiD Assessors and Providers (CAMAP), an umbrella group for the medical professionals involved in the peculiar process of providing death. This material, a small portion of which was recently published in an American magazine, The New Atlantis, reveals that those self-appointed guardians of life and death knew all along that many of the public defences for the practice were untrue.

CAMAP, a charity, has no official regulatory role under Canadian law for the provision of assisted suicide. Nevertheless, it has established itself as the de facto standard-setter for euthanasia providers in the country. In July this year, Canada’s federal health ministry announced that it would outsource assisted suicide training to CAMAP, along with a $3.3 million grant.

In public, its leaders deny that there is anything wrong with Canada’s euthanasia regime. Its head, Dr Stefanie Green, has performed more than 300 euthanasia procedures and says “the act of offering the option of an assisted death is one of the most therapeutic things we do”. She is a vocal defender of the practice: in an interview, she said that “you cannot access MAiD in this country because you can’t get housing. That is clickbait. These stories have not been reported fully”.

A slide from MAiD

But her organisation’s internal training seminars tell an entirely different story. In a seminar tellingly titled “Accessing Alternatives to MAiD: What is the role of the MAiD Assessor when resources are inadequate?”, Althea Gibb-Carsley, a recently retired MAiD professional in Vancouver, documents several real-life cases of patients who have sought to die because of a lack of housing or of other resources.

One 55-year-old woman who sought to die “identifies poverty as the driver of her MAiD request – food insufficiency and inability to access appropriate treatments”. The slide (above) points out that “what she really needs” is “an extra $600 or so /month”. Another patient, a 57-year-old man and published author, identified lack of housing and lack of access to medical care among the reasons for his request to die. He had been told that obtaining social housing would take between three and six years; he planned to “stretch credit to the edges then […] set final date” for his death.

Although similar to stories already reported in the Canadian press, these cases are noteworthy because they have been documented by Canadian euthanasia providers themselves, despite their well-trodden public line that such things did not happen in real life.

A slide from MAiD

Nor is this the only area in which euthanasia providers’ public position differs from their private one. For instance, MAiD providers have been at pains to emphasise the rigorous nature of Canada’s procedural safeguards for euthanasia. On paper, they seem adequate: each demand has to be assessed and approved by two medical doctors or nurse practitioners.

What euthanasia providers don’t say out loud is that a patient who is turned down by one assessor can simply “doctor shop” for another one until a willing assessor is found. In another CAMAP seminar, Dr Ellen Wiebe describes a case of a man who was rejected by a MAiD assessor for the procedure because, as Raikin writes, “he did not have a serious illness or the ‘capacity to make informed decisions about his own personal health.'”

But a pro-euthanasia group connected him with Dr Wiebe, a prominent MAiD supporter who was previously accused by a Vancouver Jewish nursing home of sneaking in to euthanise one of its patients (to which she admitted; the provincial medical regulator cleared her of wrongdoing). As she recounts, she performed an assessment online, found him eligible, found another assessor who agreed with her, and drove him from the airport to her clinic, where she “provided for him” or, in other words, ended his life.

MAiD slide

All this was legal since, according to yet another speaker, law professor Jocelyn Downie, doctors “can ask as many clinicians as you want or need”. “There is no certainty or unanimity required. There is no perfection required”. As Raikin puts it, “There are many paths available to reach the end, and you only need to find one. The system makes it easy to die.”

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Raikin, who has collected two years’ worth of such training sessions and personally interviewed many of the protagonists, has shared with me details of many other shocking instances where MAiD providers admit in private what they strenuously deny in public.

Meanwhile, participants of these seminars continue to shape the public debate over euthanasia, using their status as ostensible experts to do so. Professor Downie, who told euthanasia providers that they can “ask as many clinicians as you want or need”, has just criticised the Canadian government for seeking to delay the introduction of MAiD for mental disorders because “she does not think a delay is the right decision from a legal and clinical perspective”. How easy should it be for someone to die? Downie does not say.

We implicitly trust our doctors with our lives; but what happens to their profession’s moral guardrails when they are entrusted with the task of killing instead of curing? We are beginning to find out.

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Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 month ago

Entirely predictable. Indeed, just what would be expected.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 month ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The irony of having just destroyed the education of a generation of children and likely causing a great many health issues for no reason – to protect exactly this demographic – old, comorbid, frail, from covid – strikes me as truly a Trudeau moment. The symbolism is perfect.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

And what’s also predictable, the requested suicide of those who see the apparently luxurious lifestyles of ‘influencers’ on social media and get depressed about their life’s much dimmer prospects.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
1 month ago

“Come on granny, why sit here every day using up your money when you could just have a little jab and pop off quietly? Then me and the kids could use your cash to get a house…”

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Yes, implementation is a tricky problem. And this matter is up there with questions about how-and-whether to “institutionalize” people. We can see that there are people who really do not have the mental or emotional capacity to take care of themselves, but we can also imagine how a system of institutionalization could be abused… like in Soviet Union: If the authorities didn’t like you for expressing inconvenient views, then they might declare you incompetent and have you shut up and drugged up in an institution.

Claire England
Claire England
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

I’ve read reports on nations where euthanasia has been legal for some time now, and that has indeed been an unintended consequence: elderly family members being quietly encouraged to remove themselves in order to financially benefit inheritors.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 month ago
Reply to  Claire England

No doubt you can point us to these “reports”, Claire.
I’ll wait.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Yes, I’d like to see those reports. This story looks like a beat-up to me.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

I think we may be waiting a while…

Lillian Fry
Lillian Fry
1 month ago
Reply to  Claire England

it is only a matter of time before the argument is made openly. People are too quick to dismiss the slippery slope.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

This post says a whole lot more about Martin than it does about the Canadian system.

N Forster
N Forster
1 month ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Graeme, it’s past your bedtime. Come on. Night nights.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago

As a Canadian I’m an utterly horrified by this. We knew it was bad, but not this bad.

The federal govt and its bureaucratic apparatus is broken. It almost seems like every high-profile federal policy is driven by some strange ideological goals – and I’m not even sure it’s left wing ideology. More like anti-human disassociated drivel.

Here’s the quote that blew my mind.

“… As she recounts, she performed an assessment online, found him eligible, found another assessor who agreed with her, and drove him from the airport to her clinic, where she “provided for him” or, in other words, ended his life.”

What kind of person does this? How do they square this in their brain? God help us all.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

“What kind of person does this?”
Someone who cares deeply about the suffering of others.

Last edited 1 month ago by Brett H
Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

Cares, schmares.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

So why do you think she did it?

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Biting, cutting satire. Your obvious intelligence is undeniable….I’m sorry, what was your point again?

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

*

Last edited 1 month ago by Brett H
Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

Hilarious. Downvotes for … what?

Not the Scottish MSM
Not the Scottish MSM
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Isn’t this a state-sponsored version of what Harold Shipman did to his patients, albeit without their knowledge or consent?
Most right-thinking people would know this Canadian practice is wrong – if life is devalued towards the end, it’s devalued full stop and everyone suffers. We need to be on our guard against importing this idea into the UK, particularly as the NHS fragments and the inevitable two tier system emerges. Looks like financial incentives are at play if people are “doctor shopping” online for end of life provision.
Makes me think of PD James’ novel, The Children of Men and the quietus where old folk were bludgeoned to death in a ritual while the women folk had become infertile.
Will there be a suite of options, that’s what I’d like to know?

Chantal Ettling
Chantal Ettling
1 month ago

Snap

Andrei Iliuta
Andrei Iliuta
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

100% agree with respect to our federal government. Euthanasia I think is not bad in itself, although for specific cases, and with very, very careful regulations in place. Certainly NOT for the mentally ill!! The implications are very obvious, for instance for people with major depressive disorder. Shopping for doctors to end one’s life is extremely saddening to hear. What happened to communication of medical information between healthcare workers?

Last edited 1 month ago by Andrei Iliuta
Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 month ago

I bet this system will be imported to Scotland next.

Marcie Neville
Marcie Neville
1 month ago

As a Canadian, thank you for this reporting. Our media is bought and paid for by the liberal government, truth and full disclosure is hard to come by.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago
Reply to  Marcie Neville

The Canadian media is so frickin awful it makes the American and British media look magnificent in comparison – and that ain’t saying much,

Not the Scottish MSM
Not the Scottish MSM
1 month ago
Reply to  Marcie Neville

Snap – same in Scotland and it’s remarkably effective.

Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
1 month ago

One big issue with the question of euthanasia is that we have a medicine that does not try and provide health: health in the sense of the modern definition: individuals being able to deal in a normal way with the physical, emotional and mental challenges of life (which include infectious agents etc).
Once we change the way we do medicine (instead of treating illness, think of ‘creating health’), the question of euthanasia will disappear in the background. But this will not happen soon as long as all medical decisions are based on the strategies of the industry of illness and we continue to love consuming the tests, interventions and pills we love to consume…

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 month ago

It sounds good, but leaves me wondering what you’re actually driving at. How would you go about ‘creating health’? It sounds more like a divine gift …

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
1 month ago

The Left has become a movement of authoritarian, dishonest, sneaky, death-obsessed monsters.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 month ago
Reply to  Daniel Lee

That’s why Nazism really was a leftist movement, and the claims that it was a right-wing conservative movement was one of the 20th century’s biggest lies. It was, to quote you, “a movement of authoritarian, dishonest, sneaky, death-obsessed monsters”, plus Socialist.

h w
h w
1 month ago

Our courts are emphasizing personal autonomy as the #1 consideration, so why should medical personnel only be allowed to take life? Some people do not like doctors very much and have been traumatized by medical staff. Wait for the courts to allow firends and family to provide FAiD (friend/family assistance in dying). And why not group die-in events? When consent is king, there’s not a lot of logic to restrictions on freedom to die as we like.

Here today gone to Maui
Here today gone to Maui
1 month ago
Reply to  h w

Hundreds of thousands of Canadians have been arrested, fined, persecuted and marginalized during the last two and a half years for exercising personal autonomy. 65,000 Canadian children have also been approached, harassed, fined, assaulted, arrested and prosecuted during the last two and a half years.
Personal autonomy in Canada ? I think not.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 month ago
Reply to  h w

YES! After all, there are some perfectly respectable precedents. The Jim Jones cult in Guyana, the Heaven’s Gate cult …

Andrei Iliuta
Andrei Iliuta
1 month ago

Thank you once again, Unherd, for the quality reporting on delicate or controversial issues that more mainstream news outlets won’t touch. You’re rekindling my faith in journalism.
As a Canadian expat, I’ve made sure to share this news so others can see and question matters that our government is quite content to sweep under the rug. And there are many others as I’m sure other Canadians can confirm!
Also the following is sheer insanity: “plans to extend euthanasia access to the mentally ill and to “mature minors”. As a healthcare professional and future parent, I find this beyond reprehensible.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 month ago

This has a worthy precedent in the Nazis’ program of euthanizing the handicapped, although I believe their technique consisted of loading them into a truck whose exhaust gases would take care of them. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose … n’est-ce pas, Trudeau?

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 month ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

It is so shocking to see our deranged rights obsessed illberals re-kindle the work of the Nazis in Room T4. This is how it all started in the 30s. Anyone familiar with history knows that once you tear down the legal defences and moral walls that affirm the sanctity of human life your society will unleash Evil. Doctors involved in euthanasia/murder should be forced to wear a black star so terrified old vulnerable patients and the mentally ill will grasp that there are killers not just healers on their wards. We have been here before.

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 month ago

Strange how the so called liberal governments are becoming the worst. Biden, Trudeau, Sturgeon, Ardern etc, the Woke movement here. Look what they did to Africa.

dan prokop
dan prokop
1 month ago

It’s not that hard to kill yourself. Euthanasia should be for those who are disabled or otherwise can’t act for themselves. Even then rules have to be in place. Terminal cancer…yes but only when it gets very bad..ie your are totally disabled, not a month before so you can throw a little going away soiree. To all the others, the fact that you won’t kill yourself is enough to disqualify you. I know this is Catch 22. To this I reply, welcome to the monkey house.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
1 month ago
Reply to  dan prokop

Yes that’s what is confusing me here. People with severe mental illnesses kill themselves all the time it’s people like the U.K. guy with total paralysis who can’t and maybe need doctors to help.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago

I thought I’d put this up to see if I get downvotes.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

Haha! Foiled again!

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Damn!

John Kozakiewicz
John Kozakiewicz
1 month ago

I am a Canadian who supports MAID under specific and limited circumstances.  I must ask if all those expressing moral outrage, profound disquiet, and disgust at the procedure have similar visceral reactions to abortion.
In an article published several years ago on Salon.com, Camille Paglia wrote that she is “a firm supporter of abortion rights.” Nevertheless, she went on to say: “I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful … which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue.”

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago

You shouldn’t do this John, it really confuses them.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
1 month ago

What you raise is the moral dilemmas society finds itself in when dealing with the vulnerable. I remember hearing an expert explaining the issue as a curve. We humans enter the world vulnerable & dependent on others. As we grow up we become independent & able to make our own decisions. As we grow old we become vulnerable & dependent on others again.
What I find strange around both issues is the often duplicitousness of those who champion the rights of the individual.
In their world aborting a foetus because of disability is ok but see no problem in championing the rights of disabled people after they’re born.

Likewise, society wrings its hands in despair when someone who’s younger (or middle aged) takes their own life.
But granny in nursing care? A little injection & let her quietly ‘slip away’

We sometimes live in a strange world.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 month ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

“sometimes”?

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 month ago

I oppose abortion. But I was a lukewarm supporter of it until I had my first child.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago

“what happens to their profession’s moral guardrails when they are entrusted with the task of killing instead of curing?”
Does the writer imagine that no doctor has ever looked at a patient and known how terrible their life will become. Do they imagine that no patient has ever being helped to end it by a doctor. Just whose “moral guardrails” are we talking about: people who never have to look someone in the eye and say “Your condition is terminal”. If you trust them with curing then surely you can trust them to help you in your worst possible state? Are you then going to go after doctors and accuse them of moral bankruptcy because they put the concerns of their patient first?

Here today gone to Maui
Here today gone to Maui
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

Doctors are almost as likely to be drug addicts, hypocrites, lairs, incompetent, dishonest, untrustworthy and demented as any other demographic. More than 35,000 Canadians per year die due to medical malpractice. Care to revise your comment ?

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago

Nope.

Andre S
Andre S
1 month ago

It would have been of great interest to have access to the entire MAiD PowerPoint presentation to make our own mind rather than to only a few slides that serve the purpose of the journalist, Alexander Raikin, who “unearthed” the said slides. It’s easy, I would say very common these days, to build all sorts of conspiracy theories where doctors collude with each other or with family members of elderly or sick people just to get rid of them. The MAiD is governed by a very restrictive law adopted by the federal government following a decision of the Supreme Court. Those really interested by the subject should read this for a beginning: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/medical-assistance-dying.html.
I find this sudden operation in various media against the MAiD very hypocritical, particularly coming from the USA, a country where the Constitution gives anybody the right to walk around freely with a gun and kill people, young, old and healthy, WITHOUT their consent. Ask the people of Upvale, Columbine, Blacksburg, Parkland, Sandy Hook, to name just a few …

Mike Thatsallyouget
Mike Thatsallyouget
1 month ago
Reply to  Andre S

It’s very against the law to kill people, that’s not in the constitution. The question is whether it should be easier to die with a visit to a doctor or to a inner-city fast-food restaurant where the fries are cold.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago

“The question is whether it should be easier to die with a visit to a doctor or to a inner-city fast-food restaurant where the fries are cold.”
But it’s not, is it?

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago

“previously accused by a Vancouver Jewish nursing home of sneaking in to euthanise one of its patients 
In this case both the individual and his family wanted assisted suicide. He was denied it and this person decided to help.
What his family said: “The college’s decision reflects Dr. Wiebe’s professionalism and her commitment to putting the patient at the centre of their own care. Because of her, my father realized his deeply held wish to end his life in peace without having to leave his home. For this, I will always be grateful,” she said.”
“disabled Canadians told to kill themselves by bureaucrats,”
Not told, offered.
“One 55-year-old woman who sought to die “identifies poverty as the driver of her MAiD request – food insufficiency and inability to access appropriate treatments”. The slide (above) points out that “what she really needs” is “an extra $600 or so /month”
No one said assisted suicide was the answer.
“What euthanasia providers don’t say out loud is that a patient who is turned down by one assessor can simply “doctor shop” for another one until a willing assessor is found.”
Then obviously this person wants it.
The whole article is a distortion of events.

Last edited 1 month ago by Brett H
Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

I agree that this article appears to be a distortion, but I’m against state-sanctioned/assisted suicide, for all the reasons that others have highlighted. However I’m also aware of what actually goes on, and believe that in many (most) cases these acts are driven by kindly rather than murderous or rapacious impulses. I prefer to see these things kept under the radar, a nod and a wink, a bit of a fudge. It’s the British way!

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew D

As it always has been, I think.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Exactly. But this seeming fudge is actually holding up and defending a key principle of civilised society; the sanctity of human life. Its a black and white issue. A red line. Cross it and our super secular society will swiftly re discover and embrace a new eugenics. I repeat – if I go to a hospital I expect a doctor in a white coat to be dedicated to saving my life, not to being my killer. Doctors who practice killing in this way MUST be identified – perhaps a skull and bones on collar or a black star ..yes… to remind them of what happened the last time the line was crossed legally – Germany 1934. We have the right to know who they are.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

“We have the right to know who they are.”
Actually you don’t. What goes on between a doctor and patient is private.

joe smith
joe smith
1 month ago

Just like Abortion and “Transitioning” children.
Virtually all the names in this story are JEWISH.
Every. Single. Time.

Last edited 1 month ago by joe smith
Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  joe smith

Well, refreshing, if nothing else. Thank god we’ve found the culprits.

Al Bruton
Al Bruton
1 month ago

Bottom line—Who’s life is it? Who should be the one to set rules or decide if you must live or die? Governments can’t make a decision on something as important as this “PERSONAL” decision. You had no say in your birth–at least you should be able to decide if you want die! There is absolutely no way to stop someone from ending their life if they wish to do so.
Drug dealers are making billions from the opioid problem — and the results are stressing your health care system Question—Does anyone reading this think that the drug overdose crisis is entirely accidental?
Question–Why can woman go to a doctor and ask to have a pregnancy ended (end of a life)? AND–the government will pay for it. BUT that same woman can not go to that same doctor and ask to have her life ended—even if she is willing to pay all the cost.
If there is no assisted way for–someone that wants to die–to do so–they will do it in a way that causes a lot of mental trauma to public service people–and to the general public. You do not want to witness a person jumping in front of a subway train. Nor do you want to be the one to clean up that mess

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago
Reply to  Al Bruton

Some of these people just need housing. A former soldier asked for a wheelchair lift in her home and they offered euthanasia instead.

None of this has anything to do with what you wrote. The mission creep is spectacularly creepy.

Al Bruton
Al Bruton
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Name one law passed by any government that wasn’t/isn’t misused. Does that mean we never pass laws that try to solve a problem?
Are you willing to PERSONALLY tell someone that says they want to die—-NO I won’t allow it– I think you MUST continue to live–therefore you will do so! I will not allow you to choose!
I bet your answer is no. But your are willing to allow someone else (your government) to do it for you

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago
Reply to  Al Bruton

You’ve totally missed the point. The federal govt is not just offering the service. It’s promoting the service over other options.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It’s not promoting, it’s informing people. In what way is it promoting death?

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Your comments are so broad and without proof. When they offered assisted suicide was it just that, one of many options. It took a long time to get men to talk to their doctor about depression. In most cases the doctor probably brought the subject up. No one suggested the doctor was pushing depression onto his patient. What’s wrong with mentioning AS to someone who is obviously in trouble.

Last edited 1 month ago by Brett H
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

This stuff is on the record. During a House of Commons veterans affairs committee meeting in November, the Defence Minister admitted that as many as five Canadian Forces members were offered euthanasia.

It is on the record that in some cases this was recommended without any prompting from the clients, including a Paralympic athlete who was asking for a wheelchair lift in her home. It’s also been documented that at least two people asked for euthanasia because they were homeless.

If you don’t believe me, do the research. Start by searching Christine Gauthier euthanasia.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I know it’s on the record. I read it. Those who carry out assisted suicides can’t be condemned because people were offered a choice or asked for assistance. No prompting: what does it matter? Their situation is appraised, all options given and a choice made.

Last edited 1 month ago by Brett H
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

You just said my statements were too broad and without proof. Now you say you know it’s on the record.

Brett sticks fingers in ears and yells; “la la la la la la la….”

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I know it’s been reported. But my point is that you’re using these stories to justify your position. Which is fine except the stories are too vague on facts, which is what I mean by “too broad”. Or you might even say manipulative. See my comment on actual evidence.

Here today gone to Maui
Here today gone to Maui
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Hi Jim. Jim you can’t fix ignorant stupid liars.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

“It is on the record that in some cases this was recommended without any prompting from the clients, including a Paralympic athlete who was asking for a wheelchair lift”

It’s not on the record because it turns out this person doesn’t have a letter, there was no letter. She had later said it was a phone call. Nor do we know the actual content of the conversation. If they did, why was an AS kit offered, what had the person said to prompt someone to offer it?
Was it like:
“I have trouble getting up the stairs.”
” Have you considered suicide?”

Last edited 1 month ago by Brett H
Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Al Bruton

“Question–Why can woman go to a doctor and ask to have a pregnancy ended (end of a life)? AND–the government will pay for it. BUT that same woman can not go to that same doctor and ask to have her life ended—even if she is willing to pay all the cost.”
Fair point. You can kill a baby but not yourself.

Last edited 1 month ago by Brett H
Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago

“Patients are now seeking death because they cannot afford to live”
I’m not sure what this story’s about. Patients may try and seek death because of their standard of living, but that doesn’t mean they are given it, or that it’s approved of. Am I missing something? What’s the scandal?

AL Crowe
AL Crowe
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

The scandal is that some of these cases have led to them being approved to be euthanised, and that we are presently unsure just how many times this has happened, because of the lack of available data.

The systems in place are activist driven rather than based upon ethical clinical practice, they have more in common with the pseudoscientific affirmation practices than any other kind of medicine, not least because those turned down by one doctor can simply shop around until they find someone like Professor Downie, who is first and foremost a pro-euthanasia activist, who will sign off on their paperwork no matter how dubious the reasoning behind the request is.

The consequence of this shopping around is that there is no objective criteria, no minimum threshold of medical issues, all someone has to do is ask the right doctor and they get their right to die affirmed in the most literal sense.

Last edited 1 month ago by AL Crowe
Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  AL Crowe

“there is no objective criteria,”
Of course there’s no objective criteria. How do you measure pain, physical or mental?

AL Crowe
AL Crowe
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

There has to be objective criteria that tests whether someone’s desire to end their life comes from a kind of pain, whether physical or mental, that cannot be mitigated, managed or removed via other means. There has to be a minimum threshold for someone to demonstrate the capacity to consent to the ending of their life. There has to be a system in place that establishes how much social pressure is being applied in order for an individual to reach the conclusion that they need to die.

I have a lifelong disability and a degenerative medical condition, I have at times suffered from severe depression and been hospitalised for suicide attempts when I was much younger. I did not need to be euthanised, I needed appropriate medical care to recover from a medical crisis. The systems in place enabled me to get that appropriate medical care, to unpick the social pressures that were contributing to my crisis, and to ultimately recover from it. I am aware now that I didn’t actually want to die when I attempted suicide, what I wanted was to stop feeling the way I felt, to get out of the vicious cycle I had found myself in.

My personal experiences are only one of many different kinds of experiences individuals have that can lead to suicide ideation and are vastly different from those of someone who is terminally ill, but any ethical system of euthanasia has to be able to grapple with such distinctions, it has to be able to re-direct those who are in need of acute mental health interventions for prompt and appropriate care, it has to be able to recognise when vulnerable individuals are being coerced, whether by manipulative individuals in their lives or by circumstances that can be mitigated, and it has to recognise that some conditions may inhibit individual capacity to consent to what they are requesting.

The Canadian system has yet to demonstrate that it is capable of doing any of this, hence my concerns.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  AL Crowe

I don’t disagree with any of that. But I haven’t seen enough evidence to indicate that this is a corrupted idea. What I do see is evidence of a health system failing people, failing to care for them and helping them through their difficulties. Now, the argument could be made that such a health system is in no position to manage assisted suicide and I would agree with that. I don’t know what the solution is, but I don’t want the idea abandoned because we don’t know how to apply it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Brett H
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago
Reply to  AL Crowe

Wow. I have a new appreciation for the crappy little challenges I’ve faced in life. Your story is inspirational.

What Brett is willfully misunderstanding is the Canadian govt is sometimes offering the service instead of even waiting for clients to ask for it.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

“What Brett is willfully misunderstanding”
You have no more idea of those circumstances and conversations than I do. It’s not wilful misunderstanding, it’s an insistence on facts.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  AL Crowe

“those turned down by one doctor can simply shop around until they find someone like Professor Downie,”
If only a doctor can sign of on assisted suicide why would they go to Downie? Could you supply some proof that she would sign off on some dubious reasoning as you accuse her of? She’s not pretending to be a doctor, she’s just looking at the issue as it might be in law.

Here today gone to Maui
Here today gone to Maui
1 month ago
Reply to  AL Crowe

No need to engage that psychopath brett h

AL Crowe
AL Crowe
1 month ago

There may not be any need to engage with any particular individual, but on this kind of comments thread, engagement is not with a particular individual, but with anyone who is capable of reading a series of comments. No strong argument was ever conceived within an echo chamber, so it is best to be grateful for the opportunities individuals like Brett present to further a discussion and accept that the responses are not predominantly for their benefit, but for the wider silent readership.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

They’re getting it.

N Forster
N Forster
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

Read up a bit more about what is going on in Canada. Better to have an informed opinion, rather than just an opinion.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  N Forster

Have you read the rest of my comments?

N Forster
N Forster
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

Yes, do you understand mine? You display no knowledge or understanding of the topic. Only the ability to argue the toss and pontificate.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  N Forster

Do you mean no understanding of the topic in your terms. All I’m asking for is reason and facts. If we disagree then fine, but point out to me my lack of knowledge and understanding. By the way, I looked up your comments, three, that contributed nothing.

Last edited 1 month ago by Brett H
N Forster
N Forster
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

Understand the topic in broader terms. If you want reasons and facts you’ll need to read more than this article. The Spectator has been covering this issue for quite some time, as have other publications and podcasts.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  N Forster

What have I misunderstood?

N Forster
N Forster
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

I’m not your researcher son. Read more on the topic. Broaden your understanding.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  N Forster

I’m not asking for research. I’m asking you to point out where you think I’m wrong.

N Forster
N Forster
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

Find the comment where I say you’re wrong? What I do say is you need to broaden your understanding. I’ve said that repeatedly.
As things stand, your views strike me as very immature.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  N Forster

Okay, not wrong, but not understanding. Care to explain how.

N Forster
N Forster
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett H

Please refer to my first comment. If you have further questions, refer to it again.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  N Forster

What, so you can make me go around in circles? Try to contribute.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  N Forster

“you’ll need to read more than this article.”
These comments are about this article, that it’s short on reason and facts. That’s my point. Thanks for reminding me of that.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  N Forster

“stories of ordinary Canadians choosing to die at the hands of a doctor instead of carrying on living in poverty,”
To be better informed I followed up on this story. It’s more an indictment of the health system than assisted suicide. She wasn’t living in poverty. She couldn’t find accomodation that suited her health condition? It was still her choice, and she made it because she felt she’d run out of options.

Ben Gilman
Ben Gilman
1 month ago

Honestly this sounds like a perfectly reasonable system. People really determined to die, regardless of reasons, are allowed to do so humanely so long as it’s not so insane that they can’t even find one doctor willing to do it. If only we could have something like that here. I’d draw a line around younger people without life altering disabilities because there’s a credible chance that their lives could get better but people who are basically close to the end anyway should get huge flexibility and it’s nobody else’s business.

Brett H
Brett H
1 month ago
Reply to  Ben Gilman

Boom! 26 downvotes because you said that. Welcome to the right-wing echo chamber.

Last edited 1 month ago by Brett H