Woman seeks Euthanasia for Pelvic Mesh Pain

A Canadian study that tracked more than 57,000 women has found patients with complications after pelvic mesh implants are at increased risk of depression, self-harm – even suicide.

The study published in the journal JAMA tracked more than 57,000 women in Ontario who had complications like pain and infections after receiving the polypropylene implants used to treat incontinence. The study found that:

  • Of those referred for mesh removal surgery, 11 per cent were treated for depression
  • Meanwhile, 2.7 per cent suffered from self-harm/suicidal behavior, almost double the rate in the control group

One woman from British Columbia, who asked not to be identified, has told CTV News that after being in agony for many months and unable to find a doctor willing to remove her implant she has “filled out paperwork for assisted dying due to the agonizing pain of mesh and the fact that I have no medical care regarding mesh.”

This story illustrates two important points.

Firstly, "assisted dying" - in the Canadian context this means euthanasia - is simply another form of suicide. This woman is seeking euthanasia for the same reason as other depressed women dealing with pain from pelvic mesh are  committing suicide.

Secondly, euthanasia or assisted suicide can easily become the go-to solution when the health system fails a class of patients - in this case a failure to respond quickly by providing removal of pelvic mesh from women suffering from its adverse effects.

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