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One stop death in Canadian funeral home

by | May 26, 2023

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Editor’s note. Alex Schadenberg and Wesley J. Smith are teaming up to address the American and Canadian experience with euthanasia and assisted suicide at the 2023 National Right to Life Convention. For more information, go to https://nrlconvention.com/product-category/2023-registration.

Canada legalized euthanasia in June 2016 by giving doctors and nurse practitioners the right in law to approve and kill a person by lethal drugs upon request. There are a few limitations but essentially since Canada expanded its euthanasia law in March 2021 a person essentially needs to have an “irremediable medical condition.”

On May 19 Hugo Pilon LaRose reported for LaPresse that Haut-Richelieu funeral complex in Montérégie Québec is offering euthanasia (MAiD) as one of its “death services.”

According to LaRose:

With overflowing hospitals, palliative care homes that don’t always have room and Quebecers’ growing interest in medical assistance in dying, a funeral complex in Montérégie has been offering for a few weeks a “turnkey” package for patients who want to die in its showroom.

The death trade, the owner of the Haut-Richelieu funeral complex, Mathieu Baker, knows well. Representing the fourth generation to run the family business, he launched a new “turnkey” offer this spring, for approximately $700, for his clients who are requesting medical assistance in dying and who want to switch from life to death right in the showroom. A first in Québec, he says.

Baker told LaRose that he is not forcing anyone to have euthanasia and that he only rents a room to a client, while the Québec government pays the cost for euthanasia. 

Baker also told LaRose that his mother opposes offering euthanasia and that she wouldn’t speak to him for a month when she learned of the new “service.”

The Haut-Richelieu funeral complex may be the first to offer euthanasia in Québec but it has already been happening in Ontario.

CBC news article published on October 26, 2021 reported that the Northview Funeral Chapel in London Ontario began offering MAiD rooms in early 2020. The article stated that the Northview Funeral Chapel had provided rooms for 23 euthanasia deaths at the time of the article. The article also stated that A. Millard George Funeral Home in London Ontario had noticed the trend and was setting up their own MAiD room.

LaRose suggested that the growth of euthanasia in Québec had led to this new profitable enterprise for the Haut-Richelieu funeral complex. LaRose wrote:

Since the coming into force of the Act respecting end-of-life care, the number of medical assistance in dying treatments administered has been constantly increasing in Quebec. There were 63 in 2015-2016 and 3663 in 2021-2022. The Commission on End-of-Life Care believes that the removal of the end-of-life criterion from the law in 2020 and the reasonably foreseeable natural death criterion from the Criminal Code in 2021 has accelerated this trend.

LaRose described two of the deaths:

At 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, family members and the man arrived at the funeral complex, over coffee and pastries. Around 11:30 a.m., after explaining the process and checking three times rather than once with the patient if he still wanted to proceed, Dr. Dumouchel provided medical assistance in dying. As the patient took his last breath, the song Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen was playing in the room.

A few weeks ago, a lady who had been at odds with her family for years also came to receive medical assistance in dying at the funeral complex. At her request, she shared a pizza with her daughter, who she had recently reconnected with, and a salon employee. They then listened to the film Maleficent , with Angelina Jolie, seated in large couches. After smoking a last cigarette in the garden, the patient received treatment and passed away.

In all cases, the body of the deceased is then taken care of by the funeral complex, which has the necessary facilities for the continuation of the journey of the remains until the burial.

A new business opportunity.

Dr. Claude Rivard, general practitioner and expert practitioner of medical assistance in dying at the Pierre-Boucher hospital in Longueuil, told LaRose that he is not surprised by the initiative of the Haut-Richelieu funeral complex. He said:

“[It’s] a business opportunity that these people see. There is a market in Quebec. In 2021-2022, approximately 5% of deaths occurred through medical assistance in dying. There is a craze for this end-of-life mode.”

Killing has become a business in Canada. 

Hospitals and nursing homes save money by killing their patients and funeral homes can save money by having clients walk into the business and rent a death room, rather than being picked up, thus creating further profits for the funeral home.

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

Categories: Euthanasia
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