Denied “assisted life” chronically-ill Ontario man is offered death instead

Joseph Brean, The Ottawa Citizen

An Ontario hospital that wants to discharge a suicidal man with a crippling brain disease threatened to start charging him $1,800 a day, and suggested his other options included medically assisted death, according to a new lawsuit. It also claims Canada’s new assisted dying laws are unconstitutional and should be struck down because they do not require doctors “to even try to help relieve intolerable suffering” before offering to kill a terminally ill patient. The scandalous claims, as yet untested in court, are among the first major court challenges to the law, created in 2016 by the federal government in response to a Supreme Court ruling that struck down the criminal ban on assisted suicide. Critics have long feared that, once assisted dying was legalized, its legal borders would creep ever wider to include children and the mentally ill, and that hastening death would become the knee-jerk solution to the many intractable problems of end of life care. Roger Foley, 42, claims this is how he is being treated — forced to choose between suicide and a medically assisted death — and that it is illegally cruel and unusual. He alleges he has been fighting health authorities for the right to manage his own in-home care, but rather than “assisted life” in his own home, he has been offered assisted death in a hospital. He does not want it.

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