Canada: Suicidal Patient Says Clinician Asked If She Had Considered Euthanasia

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A 37-year-old Vancouver woman named Kathrin Mentler told Canada’s Globe and Mail on Wednesday that when she visited Vancouver General Hospital in June to seek help for chronic depression and suicidal thoughts, a clinician told her to consider euthanasia.

According to Mentler, the clinician told her there were “no beds” and “no availability” because Canada’s socialist health care system is “broken,” and then asked if she had “considered MAID.” 

MAID stands for Medical Assistance in Dying, Canada’s preferred euphemism for “assisted suicide,” the killing of suicidal people. Mentler, who had never heard the term before, thought the clinician was advising her to hire a housekeeper.

Mentler said she was shocked that the hospital would suggest a person grappling with thoughts of suicide go ahead and kill themselves with medical assistance.

“I very specifically went there that day because I didn’t want to get into a situation where I would think about taking an overdose of medication,” she said.

Mentler said the encounter left her traumatized and “wanting to scream and cry.” She posted her account of the exchange on social media, which caught the attention of the Globe and Mail.

“The more I think about it, I think it brings up more and more ethical and moral questions around it,” she added.

“It was pretty disheartening and made me feel helpless. I’m coming here because I’m looking for help and you’re telling me there is no help,” Mentler told The Tyee, an independent Canadian news site, on Wednesday.

“That made me feel like my life was worthless or a problem that could be solved if I chose MAID,” Mentler said.

Euthanasia injection


The Globe and Mail contacted Vancouver General Hospital and confirmed the conversation occurred as Mentler described it, but the hospital claimed its clinician only proposed MAID to “gauge Ms. Mentler’s risk of suicidality.”

“Staff are to explore all available care options for the patient and a clinical evaluation with a client who presents with suicidality may include questions about whether they have considered MAID as part of their contemplations. We understand this conversation could be upsetting for some, and share our deepest apologies for any distress caused by this incident,” the hospital said.

The Canadian Mental Health Association’s British Columbia chief executive, Jonny Morris, was skeptical of this explanation, telling the Globe and Mail that bringing up MAID to measure the risk of a patient committing suicide on their own “doesn’t align with my understanding of what a comprehensive risk assessment would typically look like.”

“The health system needs to have the imagination, and the creativity, and the care and the compassion, to do what it can to help people experience conditions that are worth living in,” he said.

Canada has been on a headlong plunge into the furthest depths of assisted suicide, legalizing MAID first for people with terminal medical conditions, then for those who were not terminal but “suffering intolerably,” and then for “mature minors” in addition to consenting adults. 

Doctors have been advised to propose euthanasia as an option instead of waiting for patients to request it – and not just for suffering or dying patients, but for those with “disabilities” as minor as hearing loss.

In November 2022, the Canadian healthcare system was blasted for teaching healthcare workers to push MAID on suffering patients at the same time clinics were running out of painkillers.

Canada has been working to expand assisted suicide for people with mental illness. A law permitting euthanasia for patients suffering mental illness alone was supposed to go into effect in March, but the government put it on hold for a year due to growing unease among both doctors and the general public.

“There were concerns that especially without clear guidelines, doctors might mistake patients making a rational choice to receive MAID with those experiencing suicidal ideation, a common symptom of mental illness,” the Globe and Mail explained.

The Globe and Mail was among those who warned that Canada’s bankrupt medical system might begin looking at MAID as an efficient means of clearing up therapy waiting lists.

“To be a laggard on mental health care spending, while implementing some of the most liberal euthanasia laws in the world, is a moral failure,” the editors declared.

Kathrin Mentler is not the first Canadian to be aggressively offered MAID under ethically questionable conditions. In August 2022, a Canadian armed forces veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder reported that a staffer for Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC) offered him assisted suicide as an option. The VAC apologized to the veteran and said it “deeply regretted” the incident.

“In April, 2022, CTV News reported that a 51-year-old Ontario woman with severe sensitivities to chemicals chose MAID after failing to find affordable housing free of cigarette smoke and chemical cleaners,” the Globe and Mail added.


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