Canada’s Veterans Affairs office offered to assist a Paralympian and veteran to commit suicide when she sought to have a wheelchair lift installed in her home, the woman told lawmakers last week.
Christine Gauthier, a 52-year-old retired corporal who competed in the 2016 Paralympics at Rio De Janeiro, testified to lawmakers that a VA official had offered — in writing — to provide her with a medically-assisted suicide kit. The case officer remains unnamed but reportedly made similar offers to at least three other veterans, according to the Independent.
“I have a letter saying that if you’re so desperate, madam, we can offer you MAID, medical assistance in dying,” Gauthier said in a hearing before the House of Commons veterans affairs committee.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the incident in a public statement on Friday after Gauthier said she personally wrote him a letter on the issue.
“We are following up with investigations and we are changing protocols to ensure what should seem obvious to all of us: that it is not the place of Veterans Affairs Canada, who are supposed to be there to support those people who stepped up to serve their country, to offer them medical assistance in dying,” Trudeau said.
Canada first approved medically-assisted suicide in 2016, and the parameters around allowing it have since loosened. The law originally legalized assisted suicide only for those facing imminent death, but it now also includes those who suffered severe pain or disabilities, according to the Independent.
Gauthier’s story comes just weeks after a Canadian fashion company glorified assisted suicide in a commercial.
Canadian fashion company La Maison Simons promoted the “beauty” in voluntary euthanasia in a promotional video titled “All is Beauty.” The ad includes a voiceover from Jennyfer Hatch, a 37-year-old Canadian woman who voluntarily euthanized herself after suffering from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
“Last breaths are sacred. Even though as I seek help to end my life, with all the pain and in these final moments, there is still so much beauty,” Hatch says in the Simons video.
Simons says that the ad aimed to “help people to reconnect to each other and to this hope and optimism,” which he says “is going to be needed if we’re going to build the sort of communities and spaces where we want to live and that are enjoyable to live in.”
“The ‘All is Beauty’ campaign has come to an end this week. Simons is now entering their annual holiday sprint,” a spokesperson for Simons told Fox News Digital. “In this context, all of their teams’ efforts are focused on in-store and web holiday activities.”
Fox News’ Timothy H.J. Nerozzi contributed to this report.