Scheduled to Die: The Rise of Canada’s Assisted Suicide Program

Rupa Subramanya

… When we think of assisted suicide or euthanasia, we imagine a limited number of elderly people with late-stage cancer or advanced ALS in severe pain. The argument for helping them die is clear: Death is imminent. Why should they be forced to suffer?

In 2015, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled that assisted suicide was constitutional. In June 2016, Parliament passed Bill C-14, otherwise known as the Medical Assistance in Dying Act. MAiD was now the law of the land. Anyone who could show that their death was “reasonably foreseeable” was eligible.

… Today, thousands of people who could live for many years are applying—successfully—to kill themselves.

Indeed, in some Canadian provinces nearly 5 percent of deaths are MAiD deaths. In 2021, the province of Quebec reported that 4.7 percent of deaths in the province were due to MAiD; in British Columbia, the number was 4.8 percent. Progressive Vancouver Island is uno cially known as the “assisted-death capital of the world,” doctors told me.

Why the dramatic increase?

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