In 2021, more than 10,000 Canadians were euthanized—a tenfold increase from 2016 when the practice was first legalized.
Assisted suicide was originally adopted in Canada as a solution for people facing “intolerable suffering” from “a grievous and irremediable medical condition” with a “reasonably foreseeable” death.
Soon after, euthanasia was made available for people whose deaths were not so “reasonably foreseeable.” And then, access was expanded to include Canadians with disabilities.
In March 2024, Canada’s euthanasia program is set to expand even further. Soon, any Canadian with a mental illness or a drug addiction will be able to choose early death via lethal injection—including people with no physical ailments whatsoever.
There could hardly be a better demonstration of the “slippery slope” phenomenon.
Not to mention that all this comes after the country’s COVID lockdowns, which have likely led to increased mental health problems, and the Canadian government making drug use easier by promoting safe injection sites.
Ironically, Canada’s sad slide down the slippery slope began with adamant denials that legalizing euthanasia would create a “slippery slope” at all.
In the original 2015 ruling in Carter v. Canada (still available on the Supreme Court of Canada’s website), the term slippery slope appears nine times in the document, with a whole subsection dedicated to the topic.
“The trial judge, after an exhaustive review of the evidence, rejected the argument that adoption of a regulatory regime would initiate a descent down a slippery slope into homicide,” the ruling reads. The reason given was that any risks of such a slippery slope scenario “can be limited through a carefully designed and monitored system of safeguards”—safeguards that have since mostly disappeared.
Also worth noting is how Canada’s battle over euthanasia has been waged in the arena of language. What began as “physician-assisted suicide” morphed into “physician-assisted dying,” which soon became “medically-assisted death,” and finally “medical assistance in dying”—or MAiD (with a lowercase i).
Now, however, it is rarely acknowledged that MAiD was ever an acronym at all. Euthanasia in Canada is referred to simply as “MAID” (the lowercase i no longer used), as though it were some kind of reliable, ever-present servant.
Using the acronym might have ended the stigma for Canadians, but, tragically, it has also helped end far too many of their lives.
Over 30,000 Canadians have now died under the nation’s euthanasia regime. During the most recent year for which statistics are available, almost 1 in 30 deaths in Canada were the result of assisted suicide.
In some provinces, like Quebec and British Columbia, euthanasia accounted for nearly 5 percent of all deaths in 2021.
In 2022, the Quebec government spent $5,880,162 in taxpayer funds on euthanasia, as recently revealed in a Freedom of Information request.
As reported by True North, “Quebeckers paid $674,102 for initial consultations lasting 15 minutes and $2,333,692 for additional 15-minute consultations.” Administrative fees, forms, visits, and recurring consultations made up the remaining expenditures.
With the province of Quebec representing less than a quarter of Canada’s population, it is likely that tens of millions of dollars in public funds are being used nationwide on assisted suicide, essentially forcing all Canadian taxpayers to be complicit in the culture of death.
These “assisted dying” laws even seem to have made Canadians more comfortable with the idea of euthanasia.
According to a May 2023 poll by Research Co., 27 percent of Canadians believe that assisted suicide should be extended to people in poverty, while 28 percent agree that it should be offered to the homeless.
In fact, “over seven in ten Canadians (73%) are pleased with the status quo, believing that the right policies are in place to allow people to seek medical assistance in dying,” reports UnHerd.
What’s more, “a significant minority want the country to go even further, with one in five Canadians (20%) believing that medical assistance in dying should always be allowed,” according to the UnHerd report; in other words, for any reason.
Some of the results we see from this so far tell a tragic story. According to CTV News:
A 51-year-old Ontario woman with severe sensitivities to chemicals chose medically-assisted death after her desperate search for affordable housing free of cigarette smoke and chemical cleaners failed. …
‘The government sees me as expendable trash, a complainer, useless and a pain in the a**,’ “Sophia” said in a video filmed on Feb. 14, eight days before her death, and shared with CTV News by one of her friends.
She died after a frantic effort by friends, supporters and even her doctors to get her safe and affordable housing in Toronto. She also left behind letters showing a desperate two-year search for help, in which she begs local, provincial and federal officials for assistance in finding a home away from the smoke and chemicals wafting through her apartment.
In the years to come, this poor woman’s story will play out for many more Canadians struggling with drug addiction, mental illness, and similar life challenges.
Expanding its euthanasia regime during a dire cost-of-living crisis is almost unthinkable, but that is what Canada is set to do in less than six months—unless enough Canadians find it in themselves to speak up against it.
A special parliamentary committee is due to re-scrutinize the legislation ahead of its rollout, providing a slim possibility that the tide of death might yet be stemmed.
In the meantime, the question remains: What is the value of human life to Canadians and their government?
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