Canadian army vet and paralympian slams government's EUTHANASIA offer when she asked for a stairlift
DORVAL, CANADA: Christine Gauthier, a Paralympic army veteran who asked a wheelchair lift be built in her home, said that she was horrified when a government official in Canada offered to give her euthanasia equipment.
CBC reported that former army official Gauthier, a competitor at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, testified on Thursday, December 1, that a caseworker for veterans' affairs had drafted an offer to give her a device for medically assisted dying. Gauthier, 52, told a House of Commons veterans affairs committee, "I have a letter saying that if you're so desperate, madam, we can offer you MAID, medical assistance in dying," according to the CBC. It was reported that three additional disabled army officials received the same device. Gauthier said that she had written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, voicing her concerns.
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Trudeau said, "We are following up with investigations and we are changing protocols to ensure what should seem obvious to all of us: that it is not the place of Veterans Affairs Canada, who are supposed to be there to support those people who stepped up to serve their country, to offer them medical assistance in dying," as reported by The Independent.
Canada has allowed terminally ill citizens to get medical assistance in dying since 2016. Even if their lives are not in urgent danger, the provision was extended in 2022 to cover individuals who suffer from incapacitating illnesses or discomfort.
The procedure is "driven by compassion, an end to suffering and discrimination and desire for personal autonomy," according to advocacy group Dying With Dignity. However, several human rights activists and religious organizations claimed that the guidelines could lead to abuse, lacked crucial safeguards and devalued the lives of individuals with disabilities.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has been alerted to up to five cases of veterans being offered euthanasia equipment by a veterans affairs officer, according to Canada's Veterans Minister Lawrence MacAulay, who spoke before the same committee recently. He said that a single employee, who had since been suspended, was engaged in each and every case.
Gauthier, a five-time world champion para canoeist who also took part in the Invictus Games 2022, received an apology from Legislators. She lost the use of her legs after getting hurt while undergoing military training in 1989.