Canadian VA Suggests Euthanasia to Veteran Asking for Help with their PTSD

A Candian veteran suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) incurred during their military service called Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC) earlier this month in order to ask for treatment options. In response to their request, a VAC employee suggested looking into Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD).

The disturbed veteran later told Canadian press that the employee continued to repeatedly bring up the option despite being asked multiple times to stop suggesting euthanasia. The veteran also claimed that this employee also said that he “helped” another veteran access MAiD before as well as to provide support for said veteran’s children following the assisted suicide.

VAC’s website claims “mental health professionals are available at any time” to veterans (

Following the call, the veteran initially tried to complain to the VAC but as the VAC seemingly took no real action in response, he decided to contact the Canadian press. Once they got involved, the VAC quickly promised to investigate the matter, admitted MAiD was discussed with a veteran inappropriately, pronounced that they “immediately took action to address the situation and apologized to the client”, and published official statements. Canadian Minister for Veterans Affairs Lawrence MacAulay August 16t statement reads:

“What happened to this Veteran is completely unacceptable. I deeply regret the harm caused to this Veteran and their family in a time of need. This should never have happened. I have been assured that the appropriate administrative actions will be taken, and I have asked my Deputy Minister to ensure this never happens again.”

However, the VAC’s vague statements and perceived inaction were, in general, not received very favorably with some calling for Minister MacAulay to resign and for more transparency regarding the actions being taken. On Tuesday the August 23, Prime Minister Trudeau broke his silence on the issue calling what transpired “completely unacceptable” and stating that a full investigation was underway and that steps are being taken to ensure something similar never happens again.

Perhaps, it would be a good idea for VAC employees to read their department’s own Joint Suicide Prevention Strategy before talking to veterans in the future.