An elderly woman in Canada who was not suffering from any terminal or painful condition has been euthanized to avoid the effects of a second COVID-19 lockdown.
90-year-old Nancy Russell was euthanized this month because she feared further isolation during lockdown.
Dr Gordon Macdonald, Chief Executive of Care Not Killing commented: “This is a shocking story, that highlights how quickly well-meaning, but dangerous changes, put forward under the false premise of alleviating suffering, can spin out of control…”
Euthanasia was legalized in Canada in 2016. However, the Canadian government is currently pushing ahead with Bill C-7 which Canadian doctors say would involve the “reckless removal” of safeguards previously considered essential. The Bill would expand euthanasia to “virtually everyone who is sick and suffering in Canada”.
Residents in Mrs Russell’s nursing home were expected to isolate in their bedrooms for days, even to eat their meals alone. All family visits and social gatherings were cancelled.
Michael Robinson, SPUC Director of Communications said: “It is worrying that Nancy died surrounded by her family, who thought that death was the best option for her. It is understandable that ongoing lockdowns and restrictions can cause the elderly community to fall into despair. But killing Nancy to overcome her isolation sends an even greater message of despair to others struggling during the pandemic.”
Dr Macdonald added: “Our current laws here in the UK, which ban both assisted suicide and euthanasia, exist to protect those who are sick, elderly, depressed or disabled from feeling obliged to end their lives; people like Nancy Russell who clearly felt alone, depressed and a burden, unable to cope with the isolation and restrictions of another Covid lockdown.
“The current laws protect those who have no voice against exploitation and coercion and those who care for them who might come under pressure to save money on care costs. They do not need changing.”