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Medically assisted death recommendation to veteran was 'unacceptable', says Trudeau

"There is a full investigation going on as to how that happened, and we are going to ensure it never happens again," Trudeau said.

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Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the discussion between a veteran seeking help and a Veteran Affairs Canada employee was completely "unacceptable" after the agency member recommended Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) to the individual.

Trudeau, who famously told a veteran that Canada didn't have enough money to help them, spoke in Stephenville, NL on Tuesday, where he said "that is not the duty of care we have toward veterans."

"There is a full investigation going on as to how that happened, and we are going to ensure it never happens again," Trudeau said.

It was confirmed to Global News, who first reported the story, that the combat veteran never raised the issue and was not seeking death as a solution to his problems.

VAC said in a statement that they are aware of an incident "where medical assistance in dying was discussed inappropriately."

"VAC deeply regrets what transpired," the statement says, adding that "appropriate administrative action will be taken."

VAC did not answer say how often MAID is offered to veterans, or what guidance employees have been given about offering MAID.

MAID has been legal in Canada since 2016, with changes made in 2021 that broadened who could request to be put down. Those with mental disorders can receive MAID starting in March 2023.

VAC said in a statement, "Providing advice pertaining to medical assistance in dying is not a VAC service," and that the agency's employees "have no mandate or role to recommend medical assistance in dying to veteran clients."

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