NRL News

Euthanasia tightens its grip as quadriplegic Canadian considers assisted death.

by | Jul 5, 2023

Approval for euthanasia is faster than getting disability benefits.

By Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

James Reinl published another in his series of articles on euthanasia and assisted suicide. This latest article was published on July 3, 2023 in the Daily Mail and focuses on the growth of euthanasia and assisted suicide in the countries where it is legal.

Reinl reports:

The warning comes on the heels of revelations that the Netherlands euthanizes otherwise healthy people with autism, and as Australian officials debate whether to let children as young as 14 end their lives in the nation’s capital.

In Canada, with the world’s most permissive assisted suicide program, a quadriplegic woman has said she’s considering euthanasia because it’s easier to get than disability benefits.

Matt Vallière, director of the Patient’s Rights Action Fund told Reinl that legalizing assisted suicide tells people with certain disabilities that they are better off dead. Vallière told Reinl that:

‘Every expansion of assisted suicide and euthanasia simply adds additional subsets of people with disabilities to the group of those who qualify or makes it easier, quicker, or cheaper for them to get it,’

Every jurisdiction that has legalized euthanasia or assisted suicide have experienced expansions in the number and reasons for death.

Reinl comments on the Netherlands:

The Netherlands in 2002 became the world’s first country to allow doctors to kill patients, at their request, if strict conditions were met.

Nearly 60,000 opted for the procedure between 2012 and 2021, official figures show.

The country’s program came under scrutiny this week with revelations that several people with autism and intellectual disabilities had been legally euthanized in recent years because they said they could not lead normal lives.

The cases included five people younger than 30 who cited autism as either the only reason or a major contributing factor for euthanasia, stretching the limits of what the law originally intended.

Reinl quoted Irene Tuffrey-Wijne, from Britain’s Kingston University, and her colleagues who reviewed Dutch files on euthanasia requests from people with autism or with lifelong mental impairments and published their findings in the journal BJPsych Open.

Many of the patients cited different combinations of mental problems, physical ailments, diseases or aging as reasons for seeking euthanasia.

Some said they were lonely, in great pain, or felt isolated.

‘There’s no doubt in my mind these people were suffering,’ Tuffrey-Wijne said. ‘But is society really okay with sending this message, that there’s no other way to help them, and it’s just better to be dead?’

Reinl then comments on a proposed in Australia to expand euthanasia to 14 year-olds. Reinl then comments on the Australian euthanasia case of Lily Thai (23) who died by euthanasia based on living with a rare autoimmune condition.

Reinl then writes about the case of Rose Finlay (33) an Ontario quadriplegic woman who released a video explaining that she can get euthanasia in 90 days but, even though she has been a quadriplegic since she was 17, it takes 6 to 8 months to qualify for disability benefits. Finlay did not collect disability benefits because she was employed but recently she became ill and when she applied for disability benefits she learned that she would have to wait.

Canadian Rose Finlay

Alex Schadenberg, head of Canada’s Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, a campaign group, called it a case of ‘abandonment.’ Reinl reported Schadenberg as stating:

‘She can die by MAiD in 90 days, but she is forced to live in complete poverty for six to eight months as she waits for approval for disability benefits,’

Reinl explains that, according to Schadenberg, Canada may have had as many as 13,500 euthanasia deaths in 2022, an increase of more than 30%. Schadenberg stated:

‘As soon as it is legalized there are always people who are experiencing some form of suffering who will then argue that euthanasia should also apply to them,’

‘This is not about a slippery slope argument, but it is a logical extension of the law.’

Vallière agreed.

Categories: Euthanasia