In Canada, advocates of assisted suicide are preparing to sue St. Paul’s Hospital, a Catholic health facility over its refusal to take part in the deliberate ending of patients’ lives.
Activists with Dying with Dignity Canada are helping mount a lawsuit against the hospital in Vancouver due to not allowing suicide to take place in its facility. Doctor-facilitated suicide is legal in the country under the its medical assistance in dying (MAID) law.
Dying with Dignity Canada confirmed to a news outlet this week that the legal complaint had not yet been lodged but would be at some point.
“The lawsuit has not yet been filed,” group spokeswoman Sarah Dobec told the outlet. “We’ll have more to say when it has.”
Shaf Hussain, a spokesman for Providence Health Care, which owns the hospital, declined to speak on the pending litigation.
“Providence Health Care isn’t able to comment or speculate about what an advocacy group may be planning,” Hussain told the outlet. “We have not been served with any court documents regarding this matter.”
Daphne Gilbert, the vice chairwoman of Dying with Dignity Canada, told a source that the lawsuit would function as a “test case” for forcing Canadian hospitals to take part not just in the killing of patients but in other forms of ideological medicine such as transgender and abortion procedures as well.
This litigation comes shortly after the Canadian government’s decision to delay expanding its assisted suicide program to include those suffering from mental illness. The government said it was putting off the decision until at least 2027.
Approximately 13,000 Canadians killed themselves using government-sanctioned assisted suicide in 2022, per the Canadian government’s most recent report.
The Catholic Church strongly defies assisted suicide and euthanasia, dubbing any form of intentional killing as “intrinsically evil.” Many of the Church’s leaders have spoken out against this practice in recent years.
Assisted suicide is legal in several countries and multiple U.S. states.