Health Canada released an interim update on medical assistance in dying on April 26. The report indicates that there were 970 reported assisted deaths. The data was based on a full year in Québec and 6.5 months (June 17 – Dec 31) in the rest of Canada.
There were 463 reported assisted deaths in (Québec, Yukon and Nunavut) and 507 reported assisted deaths in the rest of Canada. Out of 507 assisted deaths there were 504 euthanasia deaths (lethal injection) and 3 assisted suicide deaths (lethal prescription).
There may be more assisted deaths. According to the report, not every province has a legal requirement to report assisted deaths while Nunavut and the Yukon territories did not submit information based on privacy concerns and the small number of assisted deaths.
The 970 reported assisted deaths represented 0.6% of all deaths in Canada. Other than Québec, where there were 463 deaths in the full year, these deaths occurred in 6.5 months (June 17 – Dec 31). The percentage of assisted deaths is highest in British Columbia, where there were 188 assisted deaths, where they have two euthanasia clinics, as compared to 189 assisted deaths in Ontario.
The number of assisted deaths is high compared to Belgium where there were 235 reported assisted deaths in its first full year (2003), 349 in its second full year and 393 in its third full year after legalization. Currently Belgium is approximately 1/3 of Canada’s population.
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Recently CBC news reported that there were more than 1324 assisted deaths up to March 31. The CBC news data did not include all of the assisted deaths in British Columbia and it did not include Québec assisted deaths since December 31.
The Netherlands recently reported that there were 6091 reported assisted deaths in 2016 representing 4% of all deaths. Based on the current number of assisted deaths, it is possible that Canada will surpass the Netherlands and Belgium.
The euthanasia lobby are pressuring to have euthanasia extended to people with mental illness, people who are under 18 and for people who are incompetent, but who stated in their advanced directive that they would want to die by euthanasia.
Ontario is the only jurisdiction that is forcing physicians, who oppose killing their patients, to effectively refer their patients for euthanasia.