The Telegraph has published a ‘Letter to the Editor’ in which a reader from Canada outlines that a family member had to wait a year for a psychiatric appointment but that it’s possible to make an appointment for euthanasia in two weeks.
The letter, published last week, draws attention to the ease with which one could end their own life through assisted suicide compared to the difficulty of receiving genuine medical care. Its author, Susan Postill, from Toronto, Canada, said:
“Here in Canada, a member of my family was recently told there would be a one-year wait to see a psychiatrist, despite a serious psychiatric history. During the same time frame, a woman I know of was able to make a euthanasia appointment within two weeks.”
“Britain is right to be cautious on this matter”, she added.
Euthanasia to ‘save the NHS’?
In a separate letter, a woman, Teresa Lynch, who had worked in oncology for many years, said that euthanasia and assisted suicide legislation is a threat to the “vulnerable elderly and the disabled who are against a change in the law.”
She said “It is naive to imagine that [introducing assisted suicide or euthanasia] would not be associated with pressure being applied to people to ‘save the NHS’, or even their impoverished relatives.”
“Accounts of cost saving, together with the threats of hospice defunding in Canada if this “option” is not made available, are chilling.”
Instead, she said that Britain’s palliative care system should be promoted.
She added “Many doctors and nurses would not agree to becoming agents of the state should the law change. My experience, from many years in oncology care, revealed that a change in the law was not what patients wanted.”
Veteran asks for a stairlift, offered euthanasia instead
At the end of last year, it was found that as many as five Canadian veterans had been offered assisted suicide or euthanasia instead of the care they actually wanted and needed.
Retired corporal, Christine Gauthier, who competed in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics, testified before a Canadian House of Commons Veterans Affairs Committee at the beginning of December, that an unnamed veterans affairs case worker had said, in writing, that Ms Gauthier could be provided with a euthanasia device when all she had wanted was a stairlift to be installed in her home.
Ms Gauthier, 52, said “I have a letter saying that if you’re so desperate, madam, we can offer you MAID, medical assistance in dying”.
Veterans Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, said there had been five instances of veterans being offered euthanasia equipment by a veterans affairs official.
The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who is supportive of the euthanasia regime in Canada, said the incident was “absolutely unacceptable”.
Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “Evidence from Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands clearly shows that the introduction of assisted suicide is always a slippery slope putting vulnerable individuals at risk. Britain would do well to heed the warning.”