Friday , July 12 2024

Republicans demand answers on Pfizer links to Canada’s euthanasia lobby: Lawmakers demand drugmaker reveal if US taxpayer funds were used to give cash to campaign expanding lethal injections to children as young as 12

Pfizer is under congressional scrutiny over its funding to a pro-euthanasia lobbying group in Canada, which wants to make lethal injections available to kids as young as 12.

Senator Marco Rubio and other Republicans want the drugmaker to reveal any links to Dying with Dignity Canada (DWDC), which works to make doctor-assisted suicide easier to access there.

They wrote a letter asking its $33-million-a-year CEO Albert Bourla if Pfizer’s donation came from money the COVID vaccine maker got from US taxpayers.

‘Pfizer has received millions of US taxpayer dollars to develop cutting-edge treatments for some of the most critical medical challenges in our time,’ the lawmakers wrote.

Sen Marco Rubio wants Pfizer to answer questions about its funding for euthanasia in Canada

Sen Marco Rubio wants Pfizer to answer questions about its funding for euthanasia in Canada

He wants Pfizer's $33-million-a-year CEO Albert Bourla to say what US taxpayer dollars were spent on

He wants Pfizer’s $33-million-a-year CEO Albert Bourla to say what US taxpayer dollars were spent on

‘Pfizer’s decision to donate to an organization that advocates for early death calls into question the values and priorities of your company.’

Pfizer did not answer DailyMail.com’s request for comment.

Poll

Should doctor-assisted suicide be available where you live?

  • Yes 5967 votes
  • No 4725 votes
  • Not sure 887 votes

DWDC released a 66-page list of names of some 9,000 individuals and organizations that donated to its campaign in 2022, including Pfizer.

The group is relatively uncontroversial in Canada, where euthanasia became legal in 2016 and has proven popular, with 13,241 procedures in 2022 that accounted for 4.1 percent of all deaths that year.

DWDC and other advocates say assisted suicides help the chronically sick end their suffering.

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But critics say Canada is on a dangerous slippery slope to mass euthanasia, with the number of people opting for lethal injections jumping by about a third each year.

The government in 2021 expanded euthanasia access to those with mental problems — not just life-ending diseases — raising concerns about people ending their lives because they are sad, lonely, or feel like a burden.

That change has not yet come into force.

Dying With Dignity Canada says lethal injections are 'driven by compassion, an end to suffering and discrimination and desire for personal autonomy'

Dying With Dignity Canada says lethal injections are ‘driven by compassion, an end to suffering and discrimination and desire for personal autonomy’

Dying With Dignity Canada's 2022 donor list featured the names of 9,000 individuals and organizations — including Pfizer

Dying With Dignity Canada’s 2022 donor list featured the names of 9,000 individuals and organizations — including Pfizer 

The group has advocated for the expansion of access to euthanasia to include 'mature minors'

The group has advocated for the expansion of access to euthanasia to include ‘mature minors’

Euthanasia is currently only available to adults 18 or older with a serious illness, disease, or disability.

DWDC and others want it to be available to ‘mature minors’ — meaning sick children as young as 12 ending their suffering with lethal injections, says the letter.

Those aged 12 and above with a ‘grievous and irremediable medical condition’ should be allowed to opt for euthanasia if they have the ‘capacity and maturity,’ and with the consent of their parents, the group says on its website. 

Rubio and his colleagues want Pfizer to account for its support for the push to ‘loosen regulations’ in Canada to this ‘extreme standard.’

The company ‘must be completely transparent’ because it has ‘received millions of US taxpayer dollars’ for research into drugs and vaccines, adds the document.

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They also want to know whether Pfizer has a financial interest.

The company makes drugs used to euthanize patients, including cisatracurium besylate, diazepam, fentanyl, and midazolam, says the letter.

The lawmakers ask if Pfizer is trying to ‘increase market demand for its products.’

‘Your company is dismantling public trust in our nation’s health system by supporting an organization that aims to take the lives of young children,’ says the letter.

It was signed by senators Ted Cruz, JD Vance, Josh Hawley, and Mike Braun, and representatives Brad Wenstrup and Chris Smith.

DWDC has told Canadian media that Pfizer’s donation was less than $100 and was made to match an employee’s contribution.

Many Canadians support euthanasia and DWDC says procedures are ‘driven by compassion, an end to suffering and discrimination and desire for personal autonomy.’

Rights groups say the country’s regulations lack necessary safeguards, devalue the lives of disabled people, and prompt doctors and health workers to suggest the procedure to those who might not otherwise consider it.

Some are alarmed by how rapidly euthanasia has taken off in Canada.

The number of MAiD deaths jumped 31.2 percent to 13,241 between 2021 and 2022, official numbers show.

Some 44,958 people have received assisted deaths since the federal MAiD law was introduced in 2016.

Canada’s road to allowing euthanasia began in 2015, when its top court declared that outlawing assisted suicide deprived people of their dignity and autonomy. It gave national leaders a year to draft legislation.

Canada has among the highest rates of assisted dying in the world

Canada has among the highest rates of assisted dying in the world

The number of MAiD deaths in Canada has risen steadily by about a third each year

The number of MAiD deaths in Canada has risen steadily by about a third each year

The resulting 2016 law legalized both euthanasia and assisted suicide for people aged 18 and over, provided they met certain conditions: They had to have a serious, advanced condition, disease, or disability that was causing suffering and their death was looming.

The law was later amended to allow people who are not terminally ill to choose death, significantly broadening the number of eligible people.

Critics say that change removed a key safeguard aimed at protecting people with potentially decades of life left.

Today, any adult with a serious illness, disease, or disability can seek help in dying.

Euthanasia is legal in seven countries — Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain — plus several states in Australia.

Other jurisdictions, including a growing number of US states, allow doctor-assisted suicide — in which patients take the drug themselves, typically crushing up and drinking a lethal dose of pills prescribed by a physician.

In Canada, both options are referred to as MAiD, though more than 99.9 percent of such procedures are carried out by a doctor. The number of MAiD deaths in Canada has risen steadily by about a third each year.

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