NRL News

Woman who attempted suicide based on a terminal illness had a wrong diagnosis

by | Dec 13, 2017

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Mya DeRyan

The story of Mya DeRyan is not just about gaining a second chance at life; it is also a warning to Canadians, now that euthanasia is legal, that some people with a misdiagnosis will die by lethal injection (euthanasia).

Jessica Lepp reporting for CTV News Vancouver Island stated in this incredible story that DeRyan, who thought she had a terminal illness, decided to die by suicide. But thankfully she survived. According to her report:

On Oct. 30 [2016], DeRyan set the plan into motion. She left behind a book with pertinent information for her son and on top of it, a note that simply read “My body’s in pain. My heart is full. It’s time. I love you.”

She boarded a BC Ferries vessel travelling from Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay in Nanaimo. Halfway through the sailing near Bowen Island, she stripped down on a car deck and took the plunge into the icy water…

But…somebody saw her take the leap overboard and the search was on almost immediately.

“Suddenly I hear an alarm and the announcement of man overboard, and all of the sudden the moment changed,” she said.

DeRyan’s life changed after that. According to the CTV report:

DeRyan spent about a week in hospital being treated for hypothermia, but that’s when the next incredible part of her story materialized.

Doctors gave her news that would change her life again – DeRyan’s terminal diagnosis was wrong. She wasn’t dying at all.

“I think it was that moment, I was still in the hospital realizing there’s got to be a plan, and there’s got to be an intention,” she said. “I feel like it’s a new body. Any little malady I had is absolutely gone.”

With a new lease on life, DeRyan said time with her son is her first priority.

Based on her wrong diagnosis, DeRyan would have qualified for euthanasia. If it had been legal in Canada in October 2016, she might have died by lethal injection.

In April 2013, Pietro D’Amico, a 62-year-old magistrate from Calabria Italy, died by assisted suicide at a Swiss suicide clinic. His autopsy found that he was wrongly diagnosed.

The fact is that legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide directly threatens the lives of people who have received a misdiagnosis.

Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Death by lethal euthanasia or assisted suicide can and will occur to people who have received a wrong diagnosis.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Assisted Suicide