Canada’s slippery slope – assisted dying numbers surge


Before Canada legalised Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) in 2016, Canadians understood it to be a rare and merciful end, when medicine had nothing left to offer.

As Canadian law currently stands, only an adult with a grievous and irremediable medical condition can seek medical assistance in dying.

But the numbers don’t fit with the “rarely used option” most Canadians envisaged.

It’s a slippery slope they’ve set up. Within seven years, 31,664 Canadians had used MAiD to end their lives. In 2021, there were 10,064 of them.

That’s a year-on-year increase of nearly a third.

Today MAiD is touted as a treatment option to manage fear of eventual suffering, to eliminate the pain of loneliness and isolation – and as a viable option when social needs cannot be met.

Broadening criteria

A new Research Co. poll asked respondents if people should be able to seek medical assistance in dying. It found:

  • 51 percent agreed to allow adults to seek MAiD due to an inability to receive medical treatment
  • 50 percent agreed to allow adults to seek MAiD due to a disability (60 percent aged 18-34)
  • 43 percent agreed to allow adults to seek MAiD due to mental illness
  • 28 percent would consent to expand the guidelines to include homelessness
  • 27 percent would consent to expand the guidelines to include poverty (41 percent aged 18-34).

Drastic impact

Monica Doumit, from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, says MAiD has already had a “drastic impact” on Canadian life.

“Sanctioning the killing of the vulnerable breeds an attitude of indifference to their suffering and an abdication by the individual and the state to care for those most in need.

“Previously, changes to the law on significant social issues would take generations before they were normalised.

“The rapid speed at which Canadians are accepting this new wave in a culture of death is truly shocking.”

Budget savings

The Canadian Parliamentary Budget Office noted in 2020 the MAiD scheme would save the Government $149 million in 2020.

It would reduce the burden of “disproportionately high” healthcare costs in the end of life period, and through expansion of the scheme’s eligibility criteria.

Healthcare costs in the last year of life represent “between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of total health care costs despite these patients representing about 1 per cent of the population,” the Canadia PBO report said.

“Nevertheless, this report should in no way be interpreted as suggesting that MAiD be used to reduce health care costs.”

Catholic opposition

The Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has consistently expressed opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide. It has not changed its mind.

“Expanding access to euthanasia and assisted suicide for individuals living with a mental illness closes the door to any hope of recovery.

“It…undermines the universal and inviolable dignity of human life and harms the building up of society.”

The CCCB encourages the faithful “to witness to life, to tend to and accompany the sick, to resist pressure to support or participate in MAiD, and to pray that our law makers may see the harm in what they are permitting to take place.”


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News category: World.

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