Canadian Paralympian offered assisted suicide when asking for a stairlift

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A Paralympic army veteran has claimed government officials in Canada offered to giver her euthanasia equipment when she was pushing to have a stairlift installed in her home.

Christine Gauthier, a retired corporal who competed at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics told a committee that a veteran affairs case worker offered in writing to supply her with an assisted suicide kit.

Three other disabled veteran are believed to have been offered the same equipment, according to Global News.

Ms Gauthier has written to the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who was reported as saying:

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.”

Justin Trudeau Prime Minister, Canada

Ana­lys­is — what does this mean?

Assisted suicide has been legal in Canada since 2016 for people with a terminal illness. A mere six years later in 2022, the law was expanded to include people living with debilitating diseases or pain – even if their lives are not at immediate risk.

The Mail Online recently reported that a woman used in a euthanasia advert in Canada had actually wanted to live, but chose euthanasia because she couldn’t afford the costs of ongoing care.

While assisted suicide is currently illegal across the UK, there are MPs who are pushing for it. Next year an inquiry will be held at Westminster into assisted suicide laws. In Scotland, Liam McArthur MSP has lodged a private member’s bill on assisted suicide. Jersey are holding a consultation on what kind of assisted suicide law to go for and the Isle of Man are doing something similar.

The slippery slope in Canada (rising numbers and expanding categories of eligibility) is something you see in other places where assisted suicide is legal.

As Christians, God calls us to care for the most vulnerable – those who are furtherst away from justice – and it is the most vulnerable who would be pressurised to end their own lives if assisted suicide was legalised in the UK.

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