NRL News

20 year-old British Columbian man with undiagnosed condition scheduled to die by euthanasia

by | Jun 22, 2022

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The story of Eric Coulam, a 20-year-old living in Fort St John British Columbia, who has been approved for MAiD (euthanasia) even though he has an undiagnosed condition, is very upsetting.

As reported by Jessica Mundie for the National Post:

In 2013, shortly after Coulam lost his mother to suicide, his health began to decline. It started with a stomach ache, said Donna Suski [his grandmother], but it progressed to something much worse.

Coulam has been living with an undiagnosed gastrointestinal condition which has led to multiple hospital stays, liver and kidney disease, and severe chronic pain. He has visited countless doctors and endured many months in hospitals but has yet to get a diagnosis.

After struggling for almost a decade, Coulam, who now lives in Fort St. John, B.C., has decided to get medical assistance in dying, known also as MAID. He is 20 years old.

Coulam’s approval to die by euthanasia is one of the many horrific parts of this story. It appears that he was also medically mismanaged. Mundie reported:

In an interview with a local Fort St. John news site, Coulam discussed his health journey. He said he visited a doctor who performed a scope to investigate his intestine. The doctor encountered a blockage, but Coulam said they did not tell him to take any medications or phone a gastrointestinal doctor.

A couple of days later, he went back for another scope and doctors encountered the same issue.

Eventually, after continuing to eat, his stomach ruptured as the food could not pass through his intestines. The rupture caused fluid in his intestines to enter his bloodstream, leading him to enter septic shock and go into a coma for around two weeks.

This is a tragic story. Coulam has a grandmother who dearly loves him and told the National Post:

“I lost his mom,” she said, through tears. “And now I’ll be losing him.

Legalizing euthanasia (MAiD) has led to so many horrific stories. As a human being I am emotionally affected by this story.

If I had contact with Eric I would urge him and his grandmother to live as near as possible. Her comments were very heartfelt and truly loving.

I urge Eric to continue to live and I challenge him to not give up, even if his goal is solely oriented to finding an answer to his health problems, rather than being killed.

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

Categories: Euthanasia