A veteran from Canada is speaking out against some of the world’s most permissive assisted suicide programs, slamming authorities in her country as ‘disgusting‘ and ‘unacceptable’ for placing euthanasia above helping those plagued with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Kelsi Sheren, a Canadian Army gunner who witnessed a comrade’s death in Afghanistan, has been a staunch critic of the government’s euthanasia laws. According to Canada’s Euthanasia Prevention Coalition’s analysis of official data, the country is on track to record some 13,500 state-sanctioned suicides in 2022, a 34 percent rise on the 10,064 in 2021.
The veteran admitted her experience in the war-torn country “broke part of her brain” and that it wasn’t until she returned home to Vancouver from Afghanistan that she realized her change in attitude betrayed the onset of PTSD.
“I very well knew the way I was feeling and acting towards Afghan people now was disproportionately angry and violent,” she recalled. “My compassion, care, empathy, patience – it was all gone.”
Sheren said she was offered a fleet of pharmaceuticals designed to help her cope or put her to sleep, but found more success in “experimenting with psychedelic drugs and art therapy.”
Now, as a successful entrepreneur with celebrity clients like Ellen DeGeneres, Beth Behrs and Kevin Hart, the veteran is using her platform to aim her criticism at the government’s relaxed attitude to euthanasia – including its push to make the practice available to veterans with PTSD.
“When you take people who were willing to put their lives on the line for you, for your safety, then you have the audacity to tell them it’s better if you just die… it is one of the most disgusting things,” Sheren said.
“It’s unacceptable, and it is one of the most infuriating things to come down from the Canadian administration in the last decade.”
Critics have argued that the country’s euthanasia laws are a “slippery slope” in a country where red tape makes it easier to access doctor-assisted suicide than it is to access benefits and help.
Matt Vallière, director of the Patients’ Rights Action Fund, a campaign group, said the mostly Western governments that allow assisted suicides send the message that “people with certain disabilities are better off dead.”
“Every expansion of assisted suicide and euthanasia simply adds additional subsets of people with disabilities to the group of those who qualify or makes it easier, quicker, or cheaper for them to get it,” Vallière said.
Euthanasia, a lethal injection administered by a doctor, is legal in seven countries — Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain — plus several states in Australia. Other jurisdictions, including a growing number of US states, allow doctor-assisted suicide — where patients take the drug themselves, typically crushing up and drinking a lethal dose of pills prescribed by a physician.
Sheren says it is her mission to help other veterans however she can, and to rally against the ‘infuriating’ euthanasia laws which she says are making what should be life-saving help more easily accessible.