Two more instances of aemployee discussing medical aid in dying with a veteran were discovered during an ongoing investigation at the department, the responsible minister told lawmakers on Thursday.
Minister he told the House of Commons standing committee on veterans’ affairs that this brings the total number of cases involving a single VAC service officer to four, and that the RCMP has been contacted.
“I have instructed the MP (minister) to look at all options in this investigation, including referring the matter to the police for investigation if necessary. I can confirm that the RCMP was contacted and that the department took steps to formally refer the case,” MacAulay said.
“If any of the veterans are watching right now, I’m sorry,” he added, calling any discussion of assisted dying with a veteran seeking care “totally unacceptable.”
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that a VAC employee had discussed medically assisted dying with a veteran, a case that has sparked new scrutiny in the department and the ongoing fight for veterans seeking support.
Sources told Global News that a VAC service agent mentioned medical assistance in dying, or MAID, spontaneously in a conversation with the combat veteran, who was discussing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
Global News is not identifying the veteran due to privacy concerns, but has spoken directly with the individual, who says the service agent mentioned MAiD repeatedly and even after the veteran asked the service agent to stop.
The veteran said he felt pressured as a result.
He also said the service agent told him on the call that he had helped another veteran access resources for medical assistance in dying through Veterans Affairs Canada, including support for that person’s children struggling with death. imminent.
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The veteran told Global News that the service agent told him that the other veteran died with medical assistance and that it was someone who was determined to end his life.
Both cases had previously been confirmed by MacAulay and his deputy minister Paul Ledwell during a veterans affairs committee appearance in October.
MacAulay had previously called the situation an “isolated incident.”
MacAulay told the committee Thursday that the investigation launched in August was still ongoing, as was ongoing training with all VAC employees to ensure MAiD is never again raised with a veteran.
However, he added that in light of the discovery of the new cases, the investigation was expanded to look at the training of management and employees to determine why the employee was able to repeatedly raise the procedure with customers.
He said that one of the new cases occurred in 2019, while the other took place in May of this year.
More to come…
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