In 2022, the number of people who ended their lives by euthanasia or assisted suicide increased by 31.2% from the previous year, accounting for 4.1% of all deaths in Canada.
According to the latest report on assisted suicide and euthanasia from Health Canada, 13,241 people ended their lives by euthanasia or assisted suicide in 2022. There were 3,149 more deaths than in 2021, which had also seen a more than 30% increase from the year before.
A total of 44,958 people have ended their lives by assisted suicide or euthanasia in Canada since legislation making it legal was passed in 2016.
As in 2021, a large percentage of people who ended their lives in Canada through euthanasia or assisted suicide did so for non-medical reasons.
According to the report, 86.3% of individuals requesting assisted suicide or euthanasia cited “the loss of ability to engage in meaningful activities” and 81.9% cited the “loss of ability to perform activities of daily living” among their reasons for wanting to die.
17.1% cited loneliness as their reason for wanting to end their lives, while 35.3% were concerned about being a “burden on family, friends or caregivers”.
Death not ‘reasonably foreseeable’
From March 2024, euthanasia will be made legal for “persons suffering solely from a mental illness”.
Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said “The state of euthanasia in Canada is truly alarming, not only in terms of the rapid year-on-year increase but also in terms of the reasons people are choosing to end their own lives. The frightening data and horror stories coming out of Canada should serve as a sombre lesson for other jurisdictions that are considering making assisted suicide and/or euthanasia legal”.