A hospital in Ontario, Canada, is being criticised for advertising euthanasia in its urgent care waiting room.
Advertisements for Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) appear on a large television screen in the William Osler Health System hospital. The same advert is found on the health system website.
Campaigners have hit out at the adverts, saying they normalise deliberate killing, and present euthanasia as a “reasonable and even preferred method of alleviating suffering”.
Wesley Smith, of the Discovery Institute, pointed out that people in hospital waiting rooms are vulnerable to such advertisements, and may be afraid, in pain or depressed.
He said: “The ad makes no mention of palliative care or other means to reduce or eliminate suffering without killing.
“It does not describe that counselling can help people regain the desire to live. There is no hint that suicide prevention services might be available. And it obscures the fact that MAiD is a euphemism for homicide by lethal injection.”
This follows news that a draft policy on euthanasia from a Toronto children’s hospital suggests the practice may be used on children in future, potentially without notifying the parents.
Euthanasia, along with assisted suicide, was legalised in Canada three years ago. Since then, it has not only been offered, but regularly presented in a favourable light.
Smith said: “Not only is euthanasia now legal, the government and courts are transforming access into a positive right”.
“Euthanasia is not only being normalised by Canadian medical societies and hospitals, but is well on the way to being perceived by the powers that be as the ‘treatment’ of choice for those with serious medical conditions”.