Canada Reverses Course on Planned Assisted Suicide Program for Mentally Ill

2024-02-05 06:00:56

We have been reporting on news related to Canada’s assisted suicide programs.

One report featured the ad from Quebec retailer Simons glamorizing and watering down the act.  Another article focused on a Canadian doctor saying the most rewarding work she has done was overseeing the euthanization of more than 400 people.

In March of this year, Canada planned to authorize “Medical Assistance in Dying” (MAID) upon the request of patients whose only illness is a psychiatric one, such as depression or schizophrenia.

The country is now backtracking on those plans.

Canada has delayed the extension of its assisted suicide program to people suffering solely from mental illness, health officials announced Monday.

Canada offers medically assisted death to terminally and chronically ill people, but the plan to extend the program to people with mental illnesses has divided Canadians, the New York Times reported.

Some critics attribute the problem to a lack of adequate psychiatric care in the country.

The controversial policy would allow anyone in Canada with an incurable medical condition to apply for assisted suicide, even if the disease is not terminal, which makes the law one of the most liberal assisted suicide programs in the world.

How hard is life in Canada? Consider that the plans are being halted by a lack of doctors….to evaluate all the mentally ill people.

But now, health officials are slow-walking plans to expand the program, stating there are not enough doctors, specifically psychiatrists, in Canada to evaluate mentally ill people who wish to die, according to the announcement made by Health Minister Mark Holland and Justice Minister Arif Virani. This followed a meeting of the special parliamentary committee looking into the plan, the Times reported.

“The system needs to be ready, and we need to get it right,” Holland told reporters. “It’s clear from the conversations we’ve had that the system is not ready, and we need more time.”

“Although the curriculum is present, although the guidelines are set, there has not been enough time for people to be trained on them, and provinces and territories are saying their systems are not ready and need more time,” he added.

How many Canadians opt for MAID each year? Over 13,000.

In 2022, data showed 13,241 people chose MAiD to die, a 31 percent increase from 2021. This accounted for one in 20 total Canadian deaths.
…As of now, to qualify for MAiD, people must meet all criteria: be eligible for health services funded by the government; be at least 18 years old and deemed mentally competent; have an irremediable medical condition — one that is irreversible, in advanced stages and causes unbearable physical or mental suffering — make a voluntary request to die; and give informed consent to receive medical assistance to end your life.

There are two methods MAiD uses to end someone’s life.

In the first, a doctor or nurse practitioner administers a drug that causes death.

In the second, a doctor or nurse practitioner prescribes a drug to a patient that they take themselves.




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