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June 9, 2021

Dear Friend:

We saved a life this month. A woman called us in error, wanting to die by euthanasia. She has a disability, was lonely and feeling that her life lacked purpose or hope. The COVID pandemic had made it difficult for her to access her health care needs. After much listening and a long discussion, she decided that she wanted to live. We hope she calls again.

A Health Canada official, Abby Hoffman, told the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying that there were 7,595 assisted deaths in 2020. Hoffman stated that this was a 17% increase in MAiD deaths as compared to 2019, when in fact it is a 35% increase. In 2018, Health Canada reported that MAiD deaths represented 1.12% of all deaths when in fact it was 1.47% of all deaths. Health Canada’s data errors seem to be common.

The article on the Health Canada euthanasia data explained that an official within Canada’s Justice Ministry stated that euthanasia deaths will continue to increase based on the Bill C-7 euthanasia law expansions. At the same time Parliament’s Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying claims to be reviewing Canada’s experience with euthanasia, but in fact, the committee appears to be focussed on further expansions of the law.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) has produced a thorough document that will be submitted to the committee members and shared with others who are trying to change Canada’s euthanasia debate to actually review Canada’s experience with euthanasia.

EPC-USA launched a petition opposing assisted suicide by telehealth (click here to sign). During the pandemic, the US government reduced telehealth restrictions. The US government is now debating making the telehealth rules permanent. The legislation employs imprecise language, which permits assisted suicide by telehealth throughout the US.

The conscience rights debate is continuing in Canada and worldwide. Bill C-268, sponsored by Saskatchewan MP Kelly Block, received its first hour of debate on May 27. At the same time, the World Medical Association is debating conscience rights for healthcare professionals. Conscience rights determine who can become a physician. Please contact your Member of Parliament to say that you support Bill C-268.

Thank you to those who donated towards the cost of hiring a summer student. Shanay, who has completed her first year in a pharmacy technician program, is a welcome addition. Her primary duty is to clean up our contact list.

Donations go down every summer as our supporters go on vacation or focus on time with their families yet our work continues. If you are a regular or monthly donor, I thank you. If you are able to become a regular or monthly donor please contact us. Monthly / regular donors are the life-blood of our organization.

EPC purchased our office building five years ago and our mortgage is coming up for renewal in August. We are hoping that several supporters will be able to make a large donation that we will use to pay down our mortgage.

Thank you for your continued support,

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director

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