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Caputo pens letter after VAC offers medical assistance in dying to veteran
Clearwater Times - 8/18/2022
Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Frank Caputo wrote a letter to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, seeking an investigation after a Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) employee reportedly offered medical assisted dying to a veteran.
In a letter to VAC, a veteran sought medical attention for PTSD and a traumatic brain injury related to his military service. Instead of offering assistance, the VAC employee allegedly suggested, unprompted, that the veteran seek access to a medically-assisted death instead.
A statement from Caputo, who is the Conservative shadow minister for veterans affairs, notes that the veteran and their family "felt betrayed and disgusted" by the offer. Only after multiple complaints did they receive an apology.
"An investigation must be opened to determine the full scope of this incident and to discover if others have been similarly harmed," said Caputo in the statement.
He adds that veterans and their families are in an "exceedingly vulnerable state" when they reach out to VAC, and it is out of VAC's mandate to offer medical assistance in dying, especially when unprompted.
"More concretely, it betrays the support veterans often require in situations of vulnerability and potential self-harm," the statement continues. "The women and men who served Canada in uniform deserve answers."
The full letter can be viewed here.