The Rising Trend of Medically Assisted Suicide in Canada: A Look at the Alarming Increase

Medically assisted suicide, also known as MAiD (medical assistance in dying), has seen a significant surge in Canada. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) has recently revealed that there were at least 13,500 cases of medically assisted suicide in Canada during the 2022 fiscal year. This figure represents a substantial increase from just over 10,000 cases the previous year. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this alarming rise and discuss the implications of normalizing MAiD in the country’s healthcare system.

The Normalization of Medically Assisted Suicide

According to the EPC’s director, Alex Schadenberg, euthanasia rates in Canada are skyrocketing due to the normalization of the procedure within the medical system. Major healthcare institutions now have dedicated MAiD teams that actively approach individuals who may qualify for the procedure. This proactive approach has led to an increase in the number of cases. Schadenberg emphasizes that when healthcare professionals are incentivized to be part of a MAiD team, they are more likely to promote and offer this option to patients.

The Escalating Statistics

The data provided by the EPC sheds light on the escalating trend of medically assisted suicide in Canada. In the 2021 fiscal year, there were 10,064 recorded instances of MAiD nationwide. Based on projections derived from data obtained from four provinces—Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia—the number rose by 34% over the past year. This suggests a worrisome upward trajectory in the prevalence of MAiD.

Regional Variances in Medically Assisted Suicide

Analyzing the data from specific provinces reveals significant regional variances in MAiD cases. Ontario witnessed a 27% increase, with 3,934 cases in the 2022 fiscal year, compared to 3,102 cases in the previous year. Alberta experienced a substantial 41% year-on-year jump, recording 836 cases in 2022, up from 594 cases in 2021. Quebec, however, had the most shocking increase, with a staggering 51% rise from 2,427 cases to 3,663 cases. In this province, state-sanctioned death has become the third leading cause of mortality, following cancer and heart disease, as per the EPC’s findings.

Critics’ Perspectives

Daniel Zekveld, a representative of the Christian advocacy group ARPA, asserts that Canada has established one of the most permissive euthanasia regimes worldwide. Zekveld argues that the country is increasingly offering medically assisted suicide as an easy solution to suffering, instead of prioritizing life-affirming care for its citizens.

On the other hand, the pro-euthanasia group Dying With Dignity contends that MAiD is driven by compassion, aiming to end suffering and discrimination while promoting personal autonomy.

Legal Developments and Expanding Criteria

In 2015, Canada’s top court ruled that the ban on assisted suicide violated individuals’ rights to dignity and autonomy. Subsequently, in the following year, the parliament in Ottawa legalized assisted suicide for individuals aged 18 and above, given they had a terminal condition or disability causing them significant suffering.

Since then, the criteria for accessing medically assisted suicide have continued to expand. In February, a parliamentary committee recommended allowing “mature minors” access to assisted suicide without parental consent.

International Perspective

It is worth noting that Canada is not the only country to legalize euthanasia. Currently, six other nations permit this practice: Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Spain.


The increasing prevalence of medically assisted suicide in Canada raises important ethical and societal questions. While proponents argue for compassion, personal autonomy, and the right to die with dignity, critics express concerns about the normalization of a practice that may replace efforts to provide comprehensive, life-affirming care. As the country continues to grapple with the implications of its permissive euthanasia regime, the impact on individuals, families, and healthcare professionals remains a subject of ongoing debate.

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