Canada Euthanizes More Prisoners Than Any Other Country
In the past seven years, Canada has euthanised more prisoners than anywhere else that tracks and records such data, and evidence suggests that some are using it to escape their prison sentences.
Nine prisoners in Canada have been euthanised in the last seven years and critics are deeply concerned because of the lack of transparency and outside scrutiny.
Jessica Shaw, an academic at the University of Calgary, filed a freedom of information request about euthanasia in prisons in Canada and found that a third of all prisoner requests for euthanasia are approved. This is considerably lower than the approval rate of 81% in the general population but no explanation was provided.
A spokesperson for Correctional Services of Canada (CSC) told CTV News “For privacy reasons, we are currently unable to provide a further breakdown of these numbers”.
Shaw described the lack of details as “secretive in many ways”, adding that “[w]e worry about what’s happening, (and) what’s not happening, behind bars and behind closed doors”.
She told CTV News “It would appear to me that there’s a very different process when it comes to people who are dying through assisted death in prison than it is for… the general population of Canada.”
Ivan Zinger, the correctional investigator of Canada, also spoke with CTV News about the troubling lack of transparency. As part of his role, he is required to investigate all deaths in custody, except cases of assisted suicide and euthanasia.
“For some extraordinary reason, CSC was able to get an exemption [to] that requirement”, he said.