Hospital Allegedly Repeatedly Pushing Man to Kill Himself After His Medical Bills Skyrocket – Report

A Canadian man has filed a lawsuit alleging that he has been pressured into ending his life by hospital staff due to the increasingly high cost of his treatment.

Forty-seven-year-old Roger Foley, who is from Ontario, suffers from a disease called cerebellar ataxia, which attacks the brain and muscles.

Foley told the New York Post that the condition causes “the white matter in the main area of my cerebella” to “vanish.” He said that this in turn deteriorates the part of his brain that controls interior organ function.

“I was sick and uncoordinated in my childhood,” Foley told the Post. “In my 20s, I lost my ability to walk and use my limbs. In my 30s I became unable to walk and needed assistance in living. I ended up in the hospital at age 40. I’ve been here since then and [the disability] is getting worse.”

In the lawsuit, filed against the Victoria Hospital London Health Sciences Centre, Foley alleged that he has been pressured into assisted suicide by hospital staff.

“They asked if I want an assisted death. I don’t. I was told that I would be charged $1,800 per day [for hospital care]. I have $2 million worth of bills. Nurses here told me that I should end my life. That shocked me,” Foley told the Post.

Foley currently requires someone else to prop him up using a Hoyer Lift, which puts him in a position needed to eat, drink and swallow medicine. In the lawsuit, Foley alleges that the hospital initially failed to provide him with the lift and someone to operate it.

“I almost died because I could not have food or water for days,” Foley claimed. “If I can’t sit up, I can’t swallow food without choking.”

According to the lawsuit, “Mr. Foley was told by hospital staff that he had stayed at the hospital for too long and if he did not receive self-directed funding, he should apply for assisted death as an option.”

A representative for the hospital has denied commenting on Foley’s claims, but did tell the Post that, “As per Canadian law, our healthcare teams are prepared to have conversations regarding Medically Assisted in Dying with patients who verbally express an interest in exploring this option.”

They clarified, “If the patient does not verbally express an interest or changes their mind, our healthcare team will not engage in these conversations.”

However, according to the Post Millennial, Canada recently issued new guidance to healthcare providers instructing them to inform eligible patients about the possibility of an assisted death when it is “medically relevant.”

The Canadian government legalized assisted suicide in 2016. Forbes reported in August that over 10,000 people underwent the procedure in 2021 — more than any other nation where it is legal.

In 2019, Foley’s case was brought to the attention of Catalina Devandas Aguilar, the UN’s Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

CTV News reported at the time that Aguilar had discovered several cases in which patients had allegedly been pressured to undergo medically assisted suicide and she urged the Canadian government to “put into place adequate safeguards to ensure that persons with disabilities do not request assistive dying simply because of the absence of community-based alternatives and palliative care.”

Foley is currently seeking “direct funding” from the Canadian government and the ability to “employ agency workers of his own choosing.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.