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A Canadian man from British Columbia chose to end his life by euthanasia after being unable to schedule treatment for esophageal cancer. Dan Quayle, 52, had waited for 10 weeks to be scheduled for chemotherapy – a treatment that doctors believed would extend his life – but when he applied for Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD), he was accepted and the death-dealing drugs were administered within two days.
The National Post reports that Quayle’s wife, Kathleen Carmichael, said the family had never been given any indication that he would be scheduled at all, with hospital administrators only telling them that they were “backlogged.”
By November 22, Dan had lost the will to fight and wait for his appointment to be scheduled and at that point he requested the life-ending prescription that was administered within hours.
Carmichael, still grieving her husband’s death, lamented that the family’s circumstances had not been different:
“I think I could still have my Dan if he had gotten treatment sooner. If we had more money, we could have gone to the States. But we’re just regular people,” Carmichael told the National Post.
The report goes on to note that the number of cancer patients in British Columbia has risen by 16% over what it was in April 2023. BC Cancer’s chief medical officer, Dr. Kim Nguyen Chi, has stated that there is currently a shortage of radiation therapists in the province. He said that the province is currently in the process of recruiting more workers to fill the needs of patients.
According to RighttoLife.org, the number of Canadians who have elected to end their life through MAiD has risen significantly. In 2023, a total of 13,241 people ended their lives by euthanasia and assisted suicide.
This figure represents a 31.2% increase from 2022 and accounts for 4.1% of all deaths in Canada.
Inquiries from Health Canada examined the reasons that many patients request MAiD and found that the most common reason (86.3%) is “the loss of ability to engage in meaningful activities,” followed by “the loss of ability to perform activities of daily living,” at 81.9%. A further 33.5% of MAiD patients said they didn’t want to be a “burden on family, friends or caregivers,” while 17.1% cited loneliness.
Read more statistics on Euthanasia in Canada at RighttoLife.org.