Paul Tuns:

Health Canada released its “Third Annual Report on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada (2021),” revealing that there were 10,064 euthanasia deaths, representing 3.3 per cent of all deaths in Canada and a 32 per cent increase over euthanasia deaths the previous year.

The Health Canada report is based on data submitted by medical and nurse practitioners who carried out euthanasia killings. Euthanasia numbers have been climbing steadily since it was legalized by the Trudeau government in 2016 following the 2014 Carter decision overturning Canada’s criminal law against euthanasia and assisted suicide. In 2017, the first full year of legal euthanasia, there were officially 2,838 MAiD deaths, followed by 4,480 in 2018, 5,661 in 2019, and 7,603 in 2020. Since euthanasia was legalized in 2016 — earlier in Quebec — there have been nearly 32,000 euthanasia deaths.

The Third Annual Report on euthanasia revealed that “At least 1,740 people died by euthanasia (2021) for loneliness and isolation,” even though euthanasia for mental health issues does not come into force until next year. In 2021, Bill C-7 was passed, liberalizing the 2016 Medical Aid in Dying law to permit patients whose deaths were not imminent to be killed — the Annual Report on Medical Aid in Dying reports that 2.2 per cent of all assisted deaths were on people whose deaths were not reasonably foreseeable — and waiving the 10-day waiting period between requesting an assisted suicide and carrying out the medicalized killing; it also will allow, as of March 2023, euthanasia in cases in which a patient is suffering solely from mental illness.