A former Paralympian who served in the Canadian military contacted Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) in 2019 to ask for a home wheelchair lift to help her maneuver her home more easily.
Christine Gauthier testified before Canada’s House of Commons veterans committee last week that she was shocked when the VAC employee offered her assisted suicide as a solution to her suffering.
Gauthier told the MPs that she has fought for wheelchair accommodation for five years, according to cbc.ca.
“I have a letter saying that if you’re so desperate, madam, we can offer you MAID, medical assistance in dying,” Gauthier said, according to the outlet. She agreed to provide a copy of the letter to the MPs, the outlet reported.
“I was like, ‘I can’t believe that you will … give me an injection to help me die, but you will not give me the tools I need to help me live,’” Gauthier said in a Dec. 2 interview with Global News.
“It was really shocking to hear that kind of comment.”
Gauthier served in the heavy artillery section of the Canadian Army and was severely injured in a training accident in 1995, according to canoeicf.com. Her back, knees, and hips took heavy damage after a jump into a trench, and she underwent a series of surgeries, but to no avail. She has competed in several paralympic sports including para ice hockey, para nordic skiing, and para canoe sprinting.