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2000 people die by euthanasia in Canada in first year of legalisation

9 October 2017

There have been 2149 "medically assisted deaths" in Canada in the space of a year.

That's nearly 1% of all deaths.

A new report from Health Canada has revealed that over 2000 people have had their lives ended by euthanasia or assisted suicide since it was legalised in June 2016.

Shocking statistics

A total of 1,982 deaths (1,977 from euthanasia and 5 from assisted suicide) have been reported between June 17 2016, when the practice was legalised, and June 30, 2017. The figures include 167 reported euthanasia deaths in Québec prior to the federal government legalizing assisted death, bringing the number to 2,149 reported assisted deaths in Canada.

In the last six months of the figures, between January 1 and June 30, 2017, there were 1,179 deaths by euthanasia or assisted suicide. This represents a 46.8% increase from the first six months that the legislation was in place, and accounts for approximately 0.9% of all deaths in Canada during that time frame. 

Full picture?

According to Alex Schadenburg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Canadian governments have established a self-reporting system, meaning the doctor who carries out the death is the same doctor who reports it, meaning it is very possible that under-reporting and abuse of the law occurs. The report itself states that data from some jurisdictions is not available because of "privacy concerns". 

This news follows other concerning reports about euthanasia in Canada - some jurisdictions have been considering extending it to the people with Alzheimer's and the mentally ill, and researchers at the University of Calgary released a report saying that euthanasia could save Canada up to $139 million a year

News in brief:

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