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MAiD

Canadian pro-life groups hold rally on Parliament Hill to protest euthanasia for mental illness

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6 minute read

From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

‘The implementation of euthanasia for the mentally ill must not simply be delayed for three years, it must be entirely stopped,’ Campaign Life Coalition national president Jeff Gunnarson said.

A number of top pro-life groups, including Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), held a rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Tuesday to call for protection of the mentally ill from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s euthanasia regime.  

On February 27, CLC joined Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) and Quebec Life Coalition along with other legal and medical experts to demand that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau permanently pause the expansion of MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying) to the mentally ill. 

“While we accept this delay, the fact is that euthanasia solely on the grounds of mental illness should never have been legally permitted in the first place,” said CLC national president Jeff Gunnarson in a press release. “Those suffering from mental illness need compassionate care, not killing.” 

“The implementation of euthanasia for the mentally ill must not simply be delayed for three years, it must be entirely stopped,” he added. 

During the rally, Dr. Paul Saba urged Canadians to oppose MAiD, arguing “we should be providing better care and not be killing the disabled.” 

Similarly, human rights lawyer Garifalia Milousis condemned the MAiD laws, revealing that she was “here today because thankfully in my moment of suffering no one came to me and said ‘maybe assisted suicide is the solution.’” 

Milousis warned that if the MAiD laws are expanded, “someone like myself in a moment of deep despair and depression and psychological suffering” would be told there is no hope for them and death is the only solution.  

“Instead of us coming alongside those individuals and saying that there is hope; there is meaning, and there is purpose to their lives,” she said “We’re instead going to say ‘maybe depression is right; maybe there isn’t any hope for you anymore.’”  

In January, after a lot of pushback from pro-life, medical, and mental health groups as well as most of Canada’s provinces, the federal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delayed its planned expansion of MAiD to those suffering solely from mental illness from March of this year until 2027.    

Shortly after, Liberal Health Minister Mark Holland announced the Trudeau government still intends to expand euthanasia to mentally ill Canadians, despite provincial health ministers requesting the measure be “indefinitely” postponed.    

The provision, if and when it is implemented, will relax legislation around so-called MAiD to include those suffering solely from mental illness. This is a result of the 2021 passage of Bill C-7, which allowed the chronically ill – not just the terminally ill – to qualify for so-called doctor-assisted death.   

However, many experts have warned against the MAiD expansion, including leading Canadian psychiatrist Dr. K. Sonu Gaind, who testified that the expansion of MAiD “is not so much a slippery slope as a runaway train.”   

Similarly, in November, several Canadian psychiatrists warned that the country is “not ready” for the coming expansion of euthanasia to those who are mentally ill. They said that further liberalizing the procedure is not something that “society should be doing” as it could lead to deaths under a “false pretense.”  

The expansion of euthanasia to those with mental illness even has the far-left New Democratic Party (NDP) concerned. Dismissing these concerns, a Trudeau Foundation fellow actually said Trudeau’s current euthanasia regime is marked by “privilege,” assuring the Canadian people that most of those being put to death are “white,” “well off,” and “highly educated.”   

The most recent reports show that MAiD is the sixth highest cause of death. However, it was not listed as such in Statistics Canada’s top 10 leading causes of death from 2019 to 2022. When asked why MAiD was left off the list, the agency explained that it records the illnesses that led Canadians to choose to end their lives via euthanasia, not the actual cause of death, as the primary cause of death.  

According to Health Canada, in 2022, 13,241 Canadians died by MAiD lethal injections. This accounts for 4.1 percent of all deaths in the country for that year, a 31.2 percent increase from 2021.     

While the numbers for 2023 have yet to be released, all indications point to a situation even more grim than 2022.  

International

28-year-old Dutch woman to be killed by assisted suicide after doctors deem her autism ‘untreatable’

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28-year-old Dutch woman Zoraya ter Beek (YouTube Screenshot)

From LifeSiteNews

By Louis Knuffke

28-year-old Zoraya ter Beek plans to die by assisted suicide over her struggles with depression and mental illness, a trend which is increasing in The Netherlands.

A 28-year-old autistic woman is scheduled to die by assisted suicide in May in The Netherlands after struggling with depression and mental illness, with her psychiatrist telling her that her condition is untreatable and will never improve. 

Zoraya ter Beek, who does not suffer from any physical illness, has decided to end her life by assisted suicide after psychiatrists said they had exhausted any means of helping her deal with her mental illnesses, which includes borderline personality disorder, according to The Free Press. 

Her struggles with mental illness have prevented her from being able to finish school or start a career. 

READ: Canadian judge blocks imminent euthanasia death of 27-year-old autistic woman 

In testimony to the nihilistic attitude adopted in the choice to end her own life on account of suffering, Ter Beek has decided that after she has been killed, her body will be cremated without a funeral and her ashes scattered in the woods. 

Ter Beek’s choice to take her own life comes despite her admitted fear of death arising from the uncertainty of what happens after death. 

“I’m a little afraid of dying, because it’s the ultimate unknown,” she said. “We don’t really know what’s next – or is there nothing? That’s the scary part.” 

The diagnosis of autism and mental illness as “untreatable” and “unbearable” has become an increasing trend in The Netherlands, with a study published in June 2023 revealing 40 cases over a 10-year period from 2012 to 2021. In a third of those cases, those with autism or intellectual disabilities were told there was no hope of improving their lives, and so their condition was deemed “untreatable.” 

Irene Tuffrey-Wijne, a palliative care physician at Britain’s Kingston University, who led the study  which examined 900 cases, said, “There’s no doubt in my mind these people were suffering. But is society really OK with sending this message, that there’s no other way to help them and it’s just better to be dead?” 

Tim Stainton, director of the Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship at the University of British Columbia, added, “Helping people with autism and intellectual disabilities to die is essentially eugenics.” 

The scheduled killing of the 28-year-old autistic woman comes as The Netherlands continues to expand the scope of what legally qualifies for euthanasia, with a new law effective February 1 allowing the killing of terminally ill children aged 1 through 12 who are deemed to be “suffering hopelessly and unbearably.” 

The law allows parents to decide to kill their child even if the child is unwilling or unable to consent. 

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Health

Quadriplegic man dies via euthanasia after developing bed sores waiting at Quebec hospital

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66-year-old Quebec man Normand Meunier who died via euthanasia after a 4-day hospital stay left him with severe bed sores

From LifeSiteNews

By  Clare Marie Merkowsky

‘I don’t want to be a burden,’ the 66-year-old man said prior to his death after he developed bed sores due to a lack of specialized care at a hospital in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec.

A quadriplegic man in Quebec was killed via euthanasia after he developed severe bed sores while waiting in a hospital for an extended period of time. 

On March 29, Normand Meunier, a 66-year-old quadriplegic man in Quebec, was euthanized in his home after developing bed sores due to a lack of specialized care at the hospital in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec, according to a report by Radio-Canada. 

“I don’t want to be a burden. At any rate, the medical opinions say I won’t be a burden for long; as the old folks say, it’s better to kick the can,” Meunier told Radio-Canada in an interview the day before he was killed.  

Meunier, whose arms and legs have been paralyzed since 2022 due to a spinal cord injury, went to the hospital’s intensive care for a respiratory virus. According to his partner Sylvie Brosseau, the hospital placed Meunier on a stretcher for 95 hours.  

Bosseau revealed that she asked medical staff to provide a specialized bed for Meunier but was told that the hospital would have to order one. According to the hospital, they are investigating the incident, adding that they do have beds available.

After spending four days on a hospital cot, Meunier developed bed sores and a major pressure ulcer on his buttocks, which were so severe that the muscle and bone were exposed and visible. 

While Meunier had previously experienced bedsores, he determined to end his life via Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), the euphemistic name for Canada’s euthanasia regime, rather than continue to receive treatment.  

Unfortunately, Meunier is not the first Canadians to choose MAiD after being given insufficient medical care.  

This was the case of 52-year-old Dan Quayle, a grandfather from British Columbia. On November 24, he chose to be killed via lethal injection after being unable to receive cancer treatment due to the increased wait times.  

Throughout the agonizing wait, his family “prayed he would change his mind or get an 11th-hour call that chemo had been scheduled,” but were instead told consistently by the hospital that they were “backlogged.”  

Similarly, in 2022, a Winnipeg woman wrote in her posthumously published obituary that she chose to die by assisted suicide after being refused the treatments she needed: “I could have had more time if I had more help.”     

However, instead of supporting the healthcare system to prevent Canadians from taking their own lives, the Trudeau government is working to expand access to MAiD by loosening its requirements. 

On March 9, 2024, MAiD was set to expand to include those suffering solely from mental illness. This is a result of the 2021 passage of Bill C-7, which also allowed the chronically ill – not just the terminally ill – to qualify for so-called doctor-assisted death.    

After massive pushback from doctors, pro-life groups and politicians, the program’s expansion was temporarily paused until 2027.

According to Health Canada, in 2022, 13,241 Canadians died by MAiD lethal injection, which is 4.1 percent of all deaths in the country for that year, and a 31.2 percent increase from 2021. 

The number of Canadians killed by lethal injection since 2016 now stands at 44,958.  

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