Hospitals Stop Killing Patients During Coronavirus Pandemic Because Euthanasia is Not Medically Necessary

International   |   Alex Schadenberg   |   Mar 30, 2020   |   3:55PM   |   Ottawa, Canada

Kelly Grant, the health reporter for the Globe and Mail, reported on March 27 that at least two regions in Ontario have stopped doing euthanasia during the Covid-19 crisis since it is not an essential service and the need to conserve healthcare services.

According to Grant, the Ottawa and Hamilton regions have temporarily stopped providing euthanasia “MAiD services” during the Covid-19 pandemic. Grant wrote:

The Champlain Regional MAID Network, which serves Ottawa and the surrounding area, issued a notice on Wednesday that it was shutting down the service in hospitals and homes to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and to conserve health-care resources.

Hamilton Health Sciences, a hospital network with 10 sites, has also stopped providing assisted dying within its walls.

Grant reported that in the Hamilton region:

Several of the hospital network’s MAID providers have already been redeployed and elective procedures of all kinds are being delayed to make room for an expected surge of coronavirus patients.

While in Ottawa, Grant reported that the Champlain Regional Medical Assistance in Dying Network sent out the following bulletin:

“After careful consideration of the principles to prevent COVID-19 transmission and conserve health-care resources, and in alignment with the provincial ramp-down of elective services, effective immediately, we will not be providing community MAiD procedures or in-patient procedures at The Ottawa Hospital,”

“Additionally, our partners at Home and Community Care will not be in a position to provide nursing support for independent practitioners who wish to provide MAiD in the community.”

Killing people by lethal injection is not healthcare. Canada’s MAiD (euthanasia and assisted suicide) law creates an exception in the criminal code to homicide. Since it is a criminal code statute it is technically not healthcare, therefore it cannot be an essential healthcare service.

The euthanasia clinic in the Netherlands also announced that it has temporarily shut-down due to healthcare priorities during the Covid-19 crisis.

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But in Victoria BC and the Toronto region euthanasia (MAiD) has been deemed an essential service. Grant reports:

Stefanie Green, a Victoria doctor and the president of the Canadian Association of MAID Assessors and Providers (CAMAP,) said the health authority on Vancouver Island has also deemed assisted dying an essential service.

Killing is not healthcare. Note: Alex Schadenberg is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and you can read his blog here.