Photo by Danie Franco on Unsplash

Editorial: MAiD Madness

  • August 18, 2022

Since 2020 while our attention has been fixed on living through the COVID pandemic, it seems an “end-demic” of medically delivered death has been raging around us almost unnoticed.

Statistics released late last week and reported by CTV’s medical correspondent Avis Favaro reveal 10,064 people in Canada had their lives end courtesy of health-care providers under the auspices of ever-so-benign sounding Medical Aid in Dying. That’s a 32-per-cent jump from 2020 in the number of those getting lethal injections under so-called MAID protocols.

Those 7,595 people deliberately delivered to death already represented a 34.2-per-cent increase over 2019. All told, the pandemic months of 2020-21 account for 17,659 of the 31,650 MAID deaths tallied since 2016. That, of course, is the year it became non-culpable homicide to help Canadians kill themselves with the blessing of medicare.

In perhaps the signature understatement of the “end-demic,” U of T law professor Trudo Lemmens, a member of the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying, told CTV: “It is rising remarkably fast.”

You think? Consider that mere weeks into the partial COVID year of 2020, roughly nine months before the viral death toll hit the December total of 14,642, the federal and provincial governments slammed the brakes on virtually the entire economy, and then on the social and personal lives of the entire Canadian population. So panic-stricken were our political and public health panjandrums by the implication of the COVID death toll rising so “remarkably fast.”

Yet as recently as July 8 this year, 39,046 of Canada’s 42,171 COVID deaths occurred in the 60+ age cohort, 34,512 were in the 70+ age group, and 25,441 victims were 80 and older. Without diminishing the loss of those lives, or downplaying the serious realities of COVID, it remains a contagion most catastrophic for a particular population cohort because it exploits the vulnerabilities that age naturally brings.

By contrast, the social contagion of the MAID “end-emic” took the lives of those battling a range of treatable, if not curable, ailments from heart disease and stroke to cancer and chronic lung disease. Thanks to legislative expansions in 2021, some who received MAID were not even suffering terminal conditions.

Of all these facts and figures, here is one that has most remarkably gone unremarked: 81 per cent of all applications for MAID were approved during 2021. That doesn’t mean 19 per cent were rejected. Thirteen per cent of potential applicants died before the process was completed. Two per cent withdrew their applications. Only four per cent of MAID applications were denied. That means Canadians turned our own lives upside down because 80 per cent of COVID deaths were occurring among those aged 80+, yet 81 per cent of government-supplied MAID deaths were being delivered on cue. We missed the culture of death moving in for the kill.

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