A Canadian man battling an undiagnosed gastrointestinal disease has decided to pursue medically assisted death after discovering his chances of recovery would still be fifty-fifty should he undergo an unprecedented amount of organ transplants.
Eric Coulam, of Fort St. John in British Columbia, has chosen to make use of his country’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) law to help end his life painlessly, The Independent reported.
The 20-year-old has been suffering from an unknown gastrointestinal disease for nearly a decade, resulting in him suffering liver and kidney diseases. He has also lost a part of his lower intestine and went into a coma after suffering septic shock.
While Coulam has gone to seven different hospitals and consulted specialists across Canada, his condition has yet to be diagnosed.
Doctors claimed Coulam’s only chance of recovery was to get six different organ transplants, something that allegedly has never been previously attempted. He will have a 50% chance of recovery following the operations.
Coulam started to explore his options for medically assisted death after his central line was removed in November, according to an earlier report by The Independent.
“I thought about it for a while, I kind of ghosted my family because I wasn’t in a good place. I knew it was what I wanted to do,” Coulam said.
“There’ll be an end to suffering. I suffer all day long. I’ve been in a four-walled room for a very long time and I’ve just had enough,” he explained.
No date has been chosen for Coulam’s medically assisted death. Around 600 friends and family members attended a recent farewell barbeque for him.
MAID, which was passed in 2016, allows people over 18 with “serious and incurable illness, disease or disability” and living with intolerable physical or psychological pain that medicine cannot alleviate to undergo medically assisted dying.
Eligible persons get injected with a drug under the supervision of nurses and doctors that causes a painless death, or prescribed to take a drug orally.
There were 7,595 MAID cases reported in 2020, according to data provided by the Canadian government.
If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day.