The Canadian euthanasia/assisted suicide (euphemistically known as Medical Aid in Dying or MAiD) data have been missing. I have received multiple inquiries asking how many Canadians have died by MAiD. Now we have some data, but not from the government.

On March 15, Jocelyn Downie, Canada’s leading “academic” pro-euthanasia activist, spoke at a lunch lecture for the Royal Society of Canada in Ottawa. In her presentation Downie stated that 7,949 people have reportedly died by MAiD in Canada as of Dec. 31, 2018. Downie clearly has access to euthanasia data that is otherwise unavailable.

Since the Third Interim report on MAiD indicated that there were 3,714 reported assisted deaths up until Dec. 31, 2017, Downie’s data indicate that there were 4,235 assisted deaths in 2018, up from 2,704 reported assisted deaths in 2017.

Based on Downie’s data, in 2018, the number of reported assisted deaths increased by more than 50 per cent and assisted deaths represented more than 1.5 per cent of all deaths.

I refer to reported assisted deaths because there have been 142 unaccounted assisted deaths in Quebec, and approximately 23 per cent of the Netherlands assisted deaths are not reported.

Last December, Quebec published euthanasia data indicating that 1,664 people died by MAiD from December 2015 to March 31, 2018. The data also indicated that there were 171 missing reports and 142 assisted deaths that were unaccounted.

What else did Downie say?

Downie stated that 99 per cent of the assisted deaths are euthanasia, 1 per cent assisted suicide, 95 per cent are done by physicians, 42 per cent occur at home and 41 per cent occur in a hospital.

Downie stated that no ineligible persons died by MAiD. I guess that Downie didn’t read the Québec Interim report which stated that: 3 per cent (19 cases) did not comply with the eligibility criteria and safeguards, including five cases in which a person did not have a “serious and incurable illness” and two cases in which the person was not at the end of life.

According to the Downie data there were 4,235 reported assisted deaths in 2018, 2,704 assisted deaths in 2017 and 1,010 reported assisted deaths (December  2015 to Dec. 31, 2016). Similar to the Netherlands and Belgium, nearly all of the assisted deaths are euthanasia (done by lethal injection) rather than assisted suicide.