The proposed extension of Canada’s assisted suicide law has some observers worried it may serve as an obstacle to ensuring Canada’s human rights standards.
Canada legalized euthanasia for people with terminal illnesses in 2016, but since then the requirement for terminal illness was eliminated, extending coverage to more diseases and ailments.
A proposed 2023 extension would enable the use of the law for people with mental illness, which greatly worries experts and activists. The year 2021 saw a 32.4 percent increase in deaths through euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. Specialists worry that the percentage may continue to grow rapidly once the law is put into force.
The Christian Institute has published a review demonstrating weaknesses of the euthanasia law currently in force. In it the institute shares the story of a man euthanized on the grounds of hearing loss:
In 2019, a 61-year-old Canadian, Alan Nichols, who had a history of depression, was euthanized for apparent hearing loss despite his family’s concerns.
A month after he was hospitalized for fear that he might be suicidal, he applied to be euthanized, with the help of hospital staff, citing “hearing loss” as the sole reason for his request.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission is on record that it shares the “grave concern” expressed by UN human rights experts.
Read more here.