Alex Schadenberg

Alex Schadenberg

The Ontario office of the chief coroner released the updated data for MAiD (euthanasia and assisted-suicide) deaths in Ontario. Its report indicates that between legalization on June 17, 2016 and June 30, 2019, there have been 3,303 euthanasia and assisted-suicide deaths.

According to the Ontario data, the number of assisted-deaths have increased each year since legalization. There were 774 reported assisted-deaths in the first six months of 2019 alone; 1,499 reported assisted-deaths in 2018; 841 reported assisted-deaths in 2017; and 189 reported assisted-deaths in 2016.

The number of euthanasia deaths is also increasing. There were 406 reported assisted deaths between April 1 and June 30, 2019 and 368 reported assisted deaths in the first three months of the year.

In March I published an article explaining that the assisted deaths, in Canada, increased by more than 50 per cent in 2018 from 2,704 reported assisted-deaths in 2017 to 4,235 reported assisted-deaths in 2018.

Last week I received a call from an Ontario nurse who was feeling pressured to participate in euthanasia. Monday I received another call from an Ontario nurse, in another community, who was concerned about pressure being placed on nurses to participate in euthanasia.

In May, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a lower court decision that Ontario doctors did not have do euthanasia but they had to do an “effective referral” meaning referral for the purpose of the act.

Conscience rights for medical professionals in Ontario need to be protected.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition works with Compassionate Community Care (CCC) to offer advice and support for family members and friends who are concerned about an assisted death or end-of-life medical treatment decision. Contact CCC at 1-855-675-8749.

 Alex Schadenberg is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. This article originally appeared July 16 on his blog and is reprinted with permission.