How realistic is it do you think a terminal patient would be denied medical care in Canada if assisted suicide passes on a federal level?

Right now the health care system in Canada is underfunded, understaffed, and there are not enough facilities to meet the demand of patients in a timely fashion.

With Quebec voting in favor of legalizing assisted suicide, it could lead to it becoming a federal issue. If the Canadian government passes laws legalizing assisted suicide, do you think it could lead to terminal patients being denied medical care?

Here's an example scenario...

A 78 year old man has cancer and heart issues. The chances of him pulling through chemotherapy and being cancer free are slim, and even if the cancer treatments are successful his heart issues would likely take his life within a few years. The cancer ward of his hospital is backlogged due to so many patients needing care, there is a shortage of beds, and it is struggling with budget constraints. The hospital staff decides that it is simply not in the interests of the hospital to pursue the chemotherapy because it would be too expensive, there are younger, healthier people waiting in line, and even if the old man survives he wouldn't have all that much longer anyway. He is told that he can't have the treatments, but is offered assisted suicide if he does not want to wait in pain for the cancer to kill him.

How realistic do you think it is to see something like that come down?

2 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    i live in the UK where assisted suicide is illegal (something that is constantly on the news here because many people are choosing to travel to Switzerland to commit suicide because they have terminal illnesses and dont want to suffer)

    with regards to your example, i think it should be left to the gentleman who is suffering and is ill to decide if he wants to pursue treatment or assisted should not be the decision of medical "professionals" to decide if he lives or dies. their job is to ensure he gets well (or so i thought?!?!) not to tell him he is going to die so they wont do anything about it. i'm quite shocked and upset from reading this

    • ...Show all comments
    • ?6 years agoReport

      ah right ok, well i think it could be a possibility as a means for saving money. its unfortunate, but things like this go on all the time all over the world. people's lives should be more important than budgets!

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  • bw022
    Lv 7
    6 years ago


    First, emergency and critical care is not backlogged in Canada. Waiting periods are only for elective procedures. Heart surgery and chemotherapy do not have long waiting periods in Canada, shortages of beds, or staff shortages. Anyone with such a serious condition would be moved to the front of the line.

    Second, there is serious doubt whether any assisted suicide bill would pass in Quebec, would be constitutional if it did pass, or that the federal government wouldn't cut funding as it would violate the Canadian Health Act. This is almost certainly something the courts and parliament would need to agree on.

    Third, you don't seem to understand the definition of 'suicide'. Suicide is voluntary. It requires the person him/herself to wish this. Having someone else deny you treatment is not suicide... it is negligence if not outright murder. Same as locking your child in a room and not giving them food is murder while them not eating is suicide.

    Forth, patients can already opt out of any medical treatment. If someone (over 18 and competent) can deny any medical procedure already. Lots of Canadians have living trusts with strict rules for DNRs. Many people don't accept certain treatments for a variety of reasons. If the patient in your example, doesn't want chemo... no doctor is going to force them. If they fall unconscious... their immediate family (or living trustee) can refuse a feeding tubes, dialysis, breathing machines, further surgeries, etc. The only think this law would allow... is that in these cases, they can put a lethal dose of morphine in their drip rather than wait until they die from starvation, lung failure, blood poisoning, etc.

    • CSE
      Lv 7
      6 years agoReport

      It absolutely is backlogged. I have congenital heart issues. I waited a year for a surgery, and over a year to get in for an MRI and checkup. The shortage of beds is a constant problem in all hospitals, which is why the hospitals are constantly raising money to expand. Denying it doesn't make it so.

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