Medically assisted suicide in Canada, an example of going too far

Alan Nichols was a 61-year-old British Columbian with a history of depression and other medical issues – though none of them life-threatening – who was hospitalized in 2019 over fears he might be suicidal.

Although he asked his brother, Gary, to ‘bust him out’ as soon as possible, within a month of going into hospital he’d submitted a request to be euthanized. He listed only one health condition – hearing loss – as the reason but that was enough to satisfy his keepers and he was killed. ‘Alan was basically put to death,’ said his brother Gary.

Erin Smith said her 71-year-old father, Rod McNeill, went to an Ontario hospital after suffering a fall. A month later, he had been euthanized. She says the doctors responsible didn’t even get hold of his medical records from his own physician.

He was subsequently euthanized for a condition – end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – that an autopsy shows he didn’t have, she said.

Sheila Elson, the mother of a 25-year-old woman with cerebral palsy said a hospital doctor in Newfoundland actually told her she’d be ‘selfish’ if she didn’t consider pursuing the euthanasia option.

Roger Foley, a patient with a degenerative brain disorder, secretly recorded staff at his hospital in London, Ontario, mentioning euthanasia.

In one recording, the hospital’s director of ethics told Mr Foley it would cost ‘north of $1,500 a day’ to keep him in hospital, adding: ‘My piece of this was to talk to you, (to see) if you had an interest in assisted dying.’

Mr Foley said he had never previously mentioned euthanasia, but the hospital said there is no ban on staff raising the issue.

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