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Young Veteran Files $18M Lawsuit Against Feds for Allegedly Being Offered Medically Assisted Suicide Without Prompting

A veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces has filed a lawsuit against the federal government and Veterans Affairs Canada after allegedly being offered medically assisted suicide without solicitation.

The plaintiff, Corben McGown, who served in CAF’s logistics branch as a supply technician, is seeking $18 million in damages. This includes $3 million for emotional distress and $5 million for consequential losses to cover medical expenses, therapy costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to the Defendant’s actions, as stated in the court document filed in the Federal Court on March 5.

“The Plaintiff was subjected to egregious conduct by the Defendant which included suggesting that the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) service was the preferred option for the Plaintiff’s mental health issues on or about February 3, 2022,” reads the court document.

According to the statement, Corben McGown had been dealing with acute mental stress following allegations of criminal conduct during his military service, of which he was acquitted at Court Martial after a thorough investigation. During a mental health episode, when he called Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), he was advised to consider MAID as the preferred option for his struggles, even though he had not initiated the discussion about the procedure.

“The Defendant deliberately disregarded the risks of self-harm for a vulnerable veteran and encouraged him to seek assistance that could potentially lead to his death at the age of 23 despite having no physical health issues,” stated in the claim.

The statement of claim outlined Mr. McGown’s severe emotional distress, mental anguish, and “moral injury” resulting from the incident, leading to missed opportunities and financial losses. By offering MAID without prompting, the plaintiff alleges a breach of VAC’s mandate to aid veterans with their mental health needs.

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The Justice Department and Veterans Affairs have not yet responded to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

MAID Expansion

Back in 2016, the Canadian government passed legislation enabling eligible Canadian adults to request MAID. In 2020, Bill C-7 expanded eligibility for the procedure to include Canadians whose natural death is not “reasonably foreseeable.”

Canada’s assisted dying program has been under scrutiny, with instances of CAF veterans being offered MAID without solicitation. An investigation in March 2023 by VAC reported four cases of inappropriate discussions surrounding MAID, all tied to one employee.

The investigation, initiated by a veteran who claimed to have been offered MAID when seeking help for a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress in July 2022, concluded that it was not a widespread systemic issue.

One notable case involved retired corporal and former Paralympian Christine Gauthier, who reported being offered MAID when contacting VAC to request a wheelchair ramp in her home. During her testimony before the House of Commons Veterans Affairs Committee in December 2022, she mentioned that the case worker even offered to provide equipment for the procedure.

There have also been instances of Canadians considering MAID due to the inability to afford medical treatments or experiencing poverty from the country’s high cost of living.

The federal government had proposed expanding MAID to include individuals exclusively with mental illness, but in February 2021, the cabinet announced a one-year delay. In January 2024, the federal government announced another extension of the deadline to allow more preparation time for medical providers and provinces.

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