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Canada sees 32% increase in assisted suicide and euthanasia in one year

In 2021, the number of people who ended their lives by assisted suicide and euthanasia increased by over 32% from the previous year, accounting for 3.3% of all deaths in Canada.

According to the latest report on Medical Assistance in Dying  from Health Canada, 10,064 Canadians ended their lives by assisted suicide or euthanasia in 2021. This figure represents 3.3% of all deaths in Canada and is an increase of 32.4% from the 2020 figures.

A total of 31,664 people have ended their lives by assisted suicide or euthanasia in Canada since legislation making it legal was passed in 2016.

1 in 5 cite loneliness as a reason to want to die

The report states that 86.3% gave the loss of the ability to engage in meaningful activities as among the main reasons for wanting to end their life. Additionally, 83.4% said the loss of the ability to perform activities of daily living was a reason for wanting to end their lives.

57.6% cited inadequate pain control or concern about pain although the report does not distinguish between those who actually experienced pain they could not control and those who were concerned about pain which they did not actually experience.

17.3% of people also cited “isolation or loneliness” as a reason for wanting to die. In 35.7% of cases, patients believed that they were a “burden on family, friends or caregivers”.

End of life concerns are not medical

Statistics from the state of Oregon which made assisted suicide legal in 1997 tell a similar story. The Oregon Health Authority report for 2021 says that 54.2% of patients were concerned with being a “burden on family, friends/caregivers”. 92% of patients were concerned with being “Less able to engage in activities making life enjoyable”. 93.3% were concerned with “losing autonomy” and 68.1% were concerned with “loss of dignity”. Of the total who have died since 1997, 27.5% have listed “inadequate pain control, or concern about it” as one of their end of life concerns.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “The report on the numbers of Canadians undergoing assisted suicide and euthanasia is alarming both in terms of the increase in uptake and in terms of the reasons given for wanting to end their lives. As in Oregon, the reasons given are overwhelming social, psychological, familial and even spiritual. Importantly, the great majority of the very real concerns have nothing to do with medicine. We can recognise these real problems and attempt to address them without offering death as a solution”.

Dear reader,

MPs will shortly vote on proposed changes to the law, brought forward by Labour MPs Stella Creasy and Diana Johnson, that would introduce the biggest change to our abortion laws since the Abortion Act was introduced in 1967.

These proposed changes to the law would make it more likely that healthy babies are aborted at home for any reason, including sex-selective purposes, up to birth.

Polling undertaken by ComRes, shows that only 1% of women support introducing abortion up to birth and that 91% of women agree that sex-selective abortion should be explicitly banned by the law.

Please click the button below to contact your MP now and ask them to vote no to these extreme changes to our law. It only takes 30 seconds using our easy-to-use tool.