Veterans Affairs assisted dying discussion a ‘serious wake-up call,’ advocates tell MPs

By Sean Boyton, Global News, October 24, 2022 The case of a Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) employee discussing medical assistance in dying (MAiD) with a veteran should serve as “a serious wake-up call” to the gaps former military members face in accessing proper care.

“My fear is that we are offering a vehicle for people to end their lives when there are treatment options available, but those treatment options are more difficult to access than medically assisted death,” said Oliver Thorne, executive director of the Veterans Transition Network.

“We know that they can get better.”

Thorne decried the average length of time veterans are forced to wait for a disability benefit — nearly 10 months, according to an auditor general’s report released last spring — and the minimum 90-day assessment period before MAiD can be provided.

“We cannot have a system that offers veterans medically assisted death faster than it offers them access to evidence-informed care that they rightly deserve because of their service to Canada,” he said.

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