The Corner

Politics & Policy

Canadian Hospital Pushes Euthanasia on Disabled Patient

I have written here before about Roger Foley, a disabled Canadian man who claims he has been denied proper medical treatment and independent living services, but has been offered euthanasia.

Apparently, he has tapes of these encounters. From the CTV story (my emphasis):

Foley expresses shock at the figure [for continuing hospitalization] and tells the man that he’d just read an article that quoted the Ontario health minister saying it’s “not legal” for hospitals to coerce patients like that.

The man is heard saying that the hospital does not use “this conversation in every situation.” . . .

Foley then says that he hasn’t been informed of a plan for his care and that his rights as a patient are being violated. “You have already violated my preferences . . . So what is the plan that you know of?” Foley asks the man.

“Roger, this is not my show,” the man replies. “I told you my piece of this was to talk to you about if you had interest in assisted dying.”

This hospital representative wasn’t the only one pushing a lethal jab as the answer to Foley’s dilemma:

In a separate audio recording from January 2018, another man is heard asking Foley how he’s doing and whether he feels like he wants to harm himself.

Foley tells the man that he’s “always thinking I want to end my life” because of the way he’s being treated at the hospital and because his requests for self-directed care have been denied.

The man is then heard telling Foley that he can “just apply to get an assisted, if you want to end your life, like you know what I mean?”

When Foley says that he is being forced to end his life, the man protests and says that’s not the case.

“Oh, no, no, no,” the man is heard saying. “I’m saying if you feel that way…You know what I mean? Don’t get me wrong. I’m saying I don’t want you to be in here and wanting to take your life.”

Notice that Foley’s despair had to do with his treatment by the hospital — not his disease — and that rather than remedy that problem or offer suicide-prevention interventions, the fellow very casually suggested euthanasia.

Once euthanasia becomes accepted generally, it could easily become the “remedy” of choice for hospitals and care facilities in dealing with troublesome or expensive patients. (There is anecdotal evidence of that in Netherlands and Belgium, for example.)

Here in the U.S., Oregon Medicaid representatives have denied life-extending chemotherapy to terminal cancer patients — while offering payment for assisted suicide. Similarly, a Nevada doctor accused a California insurance company of refusing coverage for a hospital transfer but offered to pay for assisted suicide.

When it comes to assisted suicide/euthanasia, caveat emptor!

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