Canada’s 2020 Euthanasia Report and “Assisted Suicide”: Almost 8000 People Died by Lethal Injection, 1412 People Died Because of Loneliness and 4% of Deaths in BC Were Euthanasia


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On June 30, Health Canada released the second annual report on (MAiD) euthanasia and assisted suicide. The data was gathered from the reports submitted by the medical or nurse practitioners who caused the death. There is no requirement that a third party or neutral person submit the euthanasia reports to ensure their accuracy.

The report does not even attempt to uncover potential abuse of the law. The data in Québec’s report indicated that at least 13 assisted deaths did not comply with the law.

The 2020 Canadian MAiD report indicates that the number of assisted deaths increased more than 34% in 2020:

In 2020, there were 7595 reported assisted deaths up from 5,660 in 2019 and up from 4,478 in 2018.

(MAiD) euthanasia deaths represented 2.5% of all deaths in 2020.

The number of MAID deaths in 2020 increased by more than 34% from 2019. The increase in 2019 from 2018 was more than 26% with every province experiencing an increase in the number of MAID deaths.

When all data sources are considered, the total of number of (MAiD) deaths reported in Canada from legalization until December 31, 2020 is 21,589.

Based on the fact that the Ontario data, which is published monthly, indicates increases in assisted deaths in 2021, I estimated that at least 4000 assisted deaths occurred in the first 6 months of 2021, meaning more than 25,000 MAiD deaths have happened in Canada since legalization.

British Columbia has the highest percentage with 4% of all deaths by (MAiD).

There is significant difference with the number of euthanasia (MAiD) deaths in each province. The data indicates that British Columbia has the highest percentage of (MAiD) deaths (4% of all deaths) and Quebec has the second highest percentage (3.1% of all deaths), while Newfoundland has the lowest percentage of deaths by euthanasia (0.9%).

British Columbia has been the most aggressive province to promote euthanasia and is forcing healthcare institutions to facilitate killing their patients. For instance:

  • A recent story from BC concerned a cancer patient who was being pushed to euthanasia (Link).
  • In February, the Delta Hospice Society was defunded by the BC Ministry of Health because they refused to be complicit with euthanasia (Link).
  • In 2019, Alan Nichols died by euthanasia in Chilliwack BC, even though he was not dying but deeply depressed. His family begged the doctors to re-assess Alan based on the fact that Alan had lived his life with chronic depression, but they refused (Link).

Nature of suffering among MAID recipients

Practitioners reported that suffering among MAID recipients was closely tied to a loss of autonomy.

The most frequently reported reason for the patient asking to be killed was loss of ability to engage in meaningful life activities (84.9%) followed closely by loss of ability to perform activities of daily living (81.7%). Inadequate control of pain, or concern about it (57.4%), loss of dignity (53.9%) and inadequate control of symptoms, other than pain, or concern about it (50.6%).

I am particularly concerned that 18.6% or more than 1412 people listed loneliness and isolation as a reason to die by MAiD.

If Canadians had access to excellent end-of-life care then 57% would not state that inadequate control of pain or concern about it and 50% would not state that inadequate control of symptoms, other than pain, or concern about it are reasons to be killed.

On March 17, 2021 the Federal Government passed Bill C-7. The government has predicted that Bill C-7 will lead to a 20% increase in the number of MAiD deaths in Canada. Based on the fact that there were 7595 euthanasia deaths in 2020, it is possible that there will be more than 9100 deaths by lethal injection in 2021. Recent Ontario data suggests that this is exactly what is happening (Link).

Canada’s federal government and the Québec government have both established committee’s to discuss the further expansion of euthanasia in Canada.

The current Canadian government is committed to more death by euthanasia.

There is more information in the Second Annual Report on Medical Assistance in Dying that I will cover in future articles.


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Featured image is from The Ethics Centre

Articles by: Alex Schadenberg

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