Richard Leskun, a man from Canada, has accused medical staff at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital in British Columbia of pressuring him into having his wife Marilynn, who was afflicted with dementia, put to death in 2018.
Marilynn had been a patient at the hospital since 2018. Leskun, who is a devout Catholic and an advocate for life, had made his stance on the issue clear to the staff at the hospital. However, despite his repeated objections, he claims that he was continually badgered and pressured to sign a “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) order. This was despite the fact that Leskun had objected to signing the order on multiple occasions. According to Leskun, he was even approached by a hospitalist who made the suggestion that he consider euthanasia as an option for his wife.
Leskun claims that a DNR order was implemented despite his persistent refusals and that he only agreed to it after it became apparent that his wife was nearing the end of her life. He claims that this happened before he realized that his wife was terminally ill. On the morning of December 9, 2018, Marilynn went away peacefully in her sleep. According to Leskun, the reason he has decided to come out with his experience is that he has been reading headlines regarding Fraser Health Control’s campaign for medical aid in dying (MAiD) in hospitals that fall under their authority. One of these facilities is the Abbotsford Hospital.
More and more medical assistance in dying (MAiD) rules are being modified in Canada, which has led to an increase in the number of allegations that hospital employees and other professionals are encouraging patients to undertake the operation. Since the passage of Bill C-7 in 2021, which made it possible for those who are only chronically sick but not yet terminally ill to qualify for physician-assisted suicide, there have been several examples recorded of people being forced to choose euthanasia.
Leskun wishes to talk about his experience in order to bring more attention to the problem at hand and to encourage other people to exercise caution with regard to the medical treatment of their loved ones. He emphasizes how important it is to have a primary care doctor who not only agrees with your values but is also ready to advocate for you in the medical community. Leskun is of the opinion that it is necessary for one to speak up and make their position on the issue crystal apparent in a healthcare system that currently gives both death and life to its patients.