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August 19, 2022
Just end it?: Canadian veteran offered assisted suicide as treatment for PTSD
I am loathed to start anything with the preface "as a veteran," but I think this particular instance allows for it, but you can be the judge at the end.
As a veteran, I find this story especially disgusting. Global News reports that in discussions with a medical provider with the Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), a veteran suffering from a brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was casually offered assisted suicide as a method of treatment. **record scratch** Read that again... A veteran was offered assisted suicide, also known as death, as ""treatment" for his suffering... What in the ever-loving f*ck?!
"Sources say a VAC service agent brought up medical assistance in dying, or MAID, unprompted in the conversation with the veteran. [...] Multiple sources and VAC have told Global News that the discussion took place."
This has been corroborated by the VAC. This actually happened. How exactly does that conversation go?
Veteran: So, I'm having headaches and difficulty sleeping. Sometimes my vision is blurry and I get dizzy. I'm also having nightmares sometimes.
VAC Rep: You know, you could just let us kill you.
VAC Rep: Yeah, you know, since everything in your life sucks and sh*t, we could just, like, kill you. Then you wouldn't have to deal with any of it anymore. It'll be great!
"Medical assistance in dying became legal in Canada in 2016, with further amendments passed in 2021 that broadened who could request the procedure. Another change allowing people with mental disorders to access assisted dying is set to go into effect in March 2023."
First, suicide is never the answer. I don't care what's going on in one's life. And this is coming from someone who's been there. Second, the notion that PTSD is something curable with suicide is something I find disturbing, infuriating, and concerning. How many veterans have sought treatment from Canada's system and accepted similar offers? How many lives have been ended because the Canadian system would rather kill someone than treat them?!
The answer: no one knows.
"The department also did not answer Global News’ questions about how many times assisted dying has been offered to veterans [...] or what guidance employees have been given about providing such advice. Sources who spoke to Global News are concerned this is not an isolated incident and that more veterans could be inappropriately offered assisted dying, putting their lives and mental health at risk. They added they are worried other veterans have already received similar offers."
I am appalled. However, I can't say I'm at all surprised. Assisted suicide has become so normal in Canada that even "churches" are celebrating the practice. The thought that veterans may have decided to kill themselves rather than fight breaks my heart.
For veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, to reach the Veterans Crisis Line, dial 988 and press 1.
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