75% to 80%. The response from communities representing those with disabilities, however, has remained consistently opposed. Their fears, that Canada’s end-of-life policies would prove to be only the cliff edge of a moral abyss, have proven to be largely accurate.
As Maria Cheng of the Associated Press has reported, Canada “arguably has the most permissive euthanasia rules [in the world.]” Just last year, over 10,000 lives were legally taken, an increase of a third from the year before. Patients can request aid in dying without informing family members and for any reason, including, beginning in 2023, mental health issues and not just physical suffering. Doctors, as well as nurse practitioners, can raise the topic of euthanasia with any patient and are not required to first exhaust all other treatment options. Though the government keeps track of yearly deaths by euthanasia, it does not have a commission to review troubling cases, a practice used by other permissive nations like Belgium and the Netherlands.
Next year, euthanasia will likely be extended to so-called “mature” minors. At a time when so many efforts are being made toward suicide prevention among teenagers, they will be taught that death is an acceptable way out of mental anguish. Horrific.