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Canadian cancer patient told condition untreatable, doctors offer government-assisted suicide—she gets life-saving surgery in the US

Image David Krayden

“How can you prioritize cases so that people with aggressive stage four cancer get seen by someone and when they do get seen, they get offered treatment and not MAiD like I was the first time?”

A Victoria, BC woman with abdominal cancer had to go to the United States for a life-saving operation because wait times in Canada are so long.

Allison Ducluzeau told Global News that after being diagnosed with cancer she was told she was eligible for Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) program before any significant medical assistance was offered.

She began feeling pain in her abdomen in early November 2022, had some tests done and waited for an appointment with her family doctor. Then she collapsed.

“In November, I ended up at emergency because the pain was just getting progressively worse,” she told Global. “I didn’t get to sleep one night and I woke up my now husband and said, I think we better go to emergency. So we did. And when I was there, I got a CT scan or I was booked for one the next day and the results of the CT scan indicated it looked like it might be something called peritoneal carcinomatosis, which is abdominal cancer.”

Only after further tests revealed she had stage 4 cancer, did her doctor refer Ducluzeau to the BC Cancer Agency. A consulting surgeon with the agency told her she wasn’t a candidate for surgery, despite her family doctor stating that a HIPEC procedure, in which chemotherapy doses are delivered into the abdomen, was what is usually done to treat this type of cancer.


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