Over 800 deaths from euthanasia in first six months
The Government of Canada has published an interim report on the operation of its Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) law, which was enacted in June 2016. In the six months from June to December 2016 803 Canadians died under the terms either of the MAID law or of Quebec’s separate euthanasia law. The number of deaths under the MAID law (ie excluding Quebec) is reported as 507, of which 504 were from physician-administered euthanasia (PAE) and 3 from physician-assisted suicide (PAS). Under Quebec’s law, the report states, only PAE is allowed. On this basis it would appear that virtually all deaths reported so far in Canada as a result of legalisation of ‘assisted dying’ are euthanasia deaths – ie from doctors administering (as distinct from supplying) lethal drugs.