The nation of Canada has one of the most expansive euthanasia regimes in the world, and it’s about to get even worse. Starting next month, unless the Canadian Parliament intervenes, Canadians will be able to kill themselves for the sole reason of a mental illness diagnosis.

Physician-assisted suicide was first legalized by the Canadian Parliament in 2016. Since then, 44,959 people have chosen to kill themselves via physician-assisted suicide as of 2022.

The nation’s Fourth Annual Report on Medical Assistance in Dying discloses that there were 13,241 euthanasia deaths in 2022 alone. Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) program is growing at a shocking annual rate – with a 31.2% year-over-year increase in MAID deaths from 2021 to 2022.

According to Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, the number of euthanasia deaths in Canada likely increased to approximately 16,000 in 2023. That would bring the total deaths in Canada from euthanasia to over 60,000.

When the Canada Parliament first legalized physician-assisted suicide, it stipulated that Canadians must meet all three of the following criteria to be eligible for MAID:

  • Serious and incurable illness, disease or disability.
  • Advanced state of irreversible decline in capability.
  • Experiencing enduring physical or psychological suffering that is intolerable to them and that cannot be relieved under conditions that they consider acceptable.

But since then, the parliament (starting in 2021) began permitting MAID for individuals whose natural deaths were “not reasonably foreseeable.”

As a result, a growing number of euthanasia deaths – 463 (3.5%) in 2022 – were people whose natural death were not imminent, meaning they had no terminal illness. That was an increase from 2.2% in 2021.

Additionally, Canadian law originally “excluded eligibility (for MAID) for persons whose sole underlying medical condition is a mental illness (until March 17, 2023).”

On March 9, 2023, the Canadian Parliament postponed eligibility for euthanasia “for persons suffering solely from a mental illness until March 17, 2024.”

Unless the Canadian Parliament further postpones the exclusion, Canadians who have only been diagnosed with a mental illness will become eligible for MAID next month.

The Daily Citizen has previously covered tragic stories of Canadians who were pressured to kill themselves via physician-assisted suicide. One man with hearing loss was prompted to kill himself via MAID. Another man chose to die, rather than become homeless.

“I don’t wish to be dead. Even with the pain. Even with the meds, I still want to be here,” the man said. And yet, he had “started he process for end of life because his rooming house is up for sale, and he can’t find anywhere else to live that he can afford. He barely survives on Ontario disability support payments which are just over $1,200 a month.”

As the nation’s euthanasia laws become increasingly lenient, and therefore, more prone to abuse, the number of such stories are sure to multiply.

Canadian writer Katherine Brodsky admitted in Newsweek that she used to support MAID. However, she has since changed her mind.

“I am now skeptical about the true autonomy of individuals opting for assisted death, especially in a country with socialized health care,” Brodsky writes.

“The risk of medical practitioners recommending MAID as a cost-cutting measure to alleviate strain on the health care system is unsettling, as suggested by a 2020 analysis estimating potential annual savings of $66 million in health care costs.”

She added:

Individuals considering MAID are already vulnerable due to physical or mental suffering, making them susceptible to external pressures. Reflecting on my own past struggles, I recognize the unpredictability of emotions and circumstances. What seems unbearable one day may change with time and support – yet the choice to end life is a permanent one.

Each human life is valuable and has infinite worth. Every person is made in the image and likeness of God.

Physician-assisted suicide denies that reality. It treats human begins as problems to be solved, not people to be loved. It distorts the doctor-patient relationship by violating the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take to “do no harm.” And it opens up the medical field to abuse and malfeasance.

Those who are suffering from loneliness, cancer, terminal illness or mental illness deserve a sympathetic voice, a caring hand and a prayer – not a lethal needle in the arm.

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