970 assisted deaths in Canada
At least 970 people in Canada received an assisted death last year, according to the Health Canada report released on Wednesday that provides the first official snapshot of how medical aid in dying is playing out across the country. Nearly half of all the assisted deaths – 463 – took place in Quebec, where a separate end-of-life law took effect on Dec. 10, 2015. There were 507 medically assisted deaths in the rest of Canada between June 17 and Dec. 31 2016, the report says. The average age of the patients was 72. The cases were split almost evenly between men and women, and about half of all the assisted deaths took place in hospitals. Cancer was the illness cited most often by patients granted an assisted death (56.8 per cent), followed by neurodegenerative conditions (23.2 per cent).