She wanted a little help — not death.
A paraplegic former Canadian military member is ripping her government, which offered to euthanize her after she complained about delays having a wheelchair lift installed in her home.
Retired Army Corporal Christine Gauthier, who competed for Canada at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics, testified in Parliament Thursday that a Veterans Affairs Canada caseworker offered the opportunity for a medically assisted death – and even to provide the equipment, according to the CBC.
“I have a letter saying that if you’re so desperate, madam, we can offer you MAID, medical assistance in dying,” said Gauthier who injured her back during a 1989 a training accident.
Testifying in French before the House of Commons veterans committee, she also said she’s been fighting for a home wheelchair ramp for five years and expressed her concerns about the assisted dying offer in a recent letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“I sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and that they [Veterans Affairs] offered me MAID and would supply equipment,” said Gauthier.
Gauthier’s ordeal is “absolutely unacceptable,” Trudeau said Friday.
“We are following up with investigations, and we are changing protocols to ensure what should seem obvious to all of us: that it is not the place of Veterans Affairs Canada, who are supposed to be there to support those people who stepped up to serve their country, to offer them medical assistance in dying,” added the prime minister.
In testimony before the same committee last week, Veterans Minister Lawrence MacAulay revealed at least four other Canadian military veterans were offered the MAID option by a now-suspended veterans service agent. The cases have been referred to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
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