A transgender woman named Louis Cardinal has lashed out at Canada’s healthcare system for denying her request for euthanasia due to the pain she is feeling after sex reassignment surgery. Cardinal, who underwent vaginal surgery in 2009, has since had complications and continues to suffer from constant pressure, pain and discomfort. In a message shared on social media, he revealed that the pain from the surgery was so unbearable that he asked for lethal injection as a way out in January.
This case has led Louis Cardinal to view Canada’s healthcare system’s refusal as a violation of his human rights. Cardinal has announced his intention to request euthanasia again in the coming months if he does not receive help to relieve his pain.
Canada’s healthcare system is at the center of this controversy as it is one of the most permissive in the world when it comes to both euthanasia and confirming a person’s chosen gender. However, the clinic where Cardinal requested euthanasia confirms that he does not meet the necessary requirements for euthanasia. According to the clinic, euthanasia is only for people with terminal illnesses or disabilities because there are ways to ease the pain associated with sex reassignment surgery. Cardinal argues that euthanasia is her only option since the numbing cream she was prescribed did not relieve the pain caused by her “new vagina.”
This situation has fueled the debate about liberalizing euthanasia laws in Canada since 2021. Opponents argue that this has opened the door to an alarming surge in euthanasia requests like Cardinal’s, rather than being limited to patients with terminal illnesses. According to the data, an estimated 13,500 state-sponsored suicides were recorded last year, up from 10,064 in 2021.
Additionally, a recent study by the University of Florida and Brooks Rehabilitation found that four out of five people who had sex reassignment surgery in the past five years experienced persistent pain after the surgery. 57% reported that sex became a painful experience after surgery.