Canada To Facilitate Suicide For The Mentally Ill Starting In March

The government of Canada’s website says that those whose only medical condition is a mental illness will be eligible for MAID starting March 2023

Changes are being made to Medical Assitance in Dying (MAID) which will expand eligibility criteria to eliminate the “reasonable foreseeability of natural death” criterion. This means that it will no longer be required for a person’s death to be reasonably foreseeable to receive MAID services.

The government of Canada’s website says that those whose only medical condition is a mental illness will not be eligible for MAID until March 2023, meaning that it will be fully available for those with just a mental condition after that date.

As of March 17, 2021, persons who wish to receive MAID must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

  • – be 18 years of age or older and have decision-making capacity
  • – be eligible for publicly funded health care services
  • – make a voluntary request that is not the result of external pressure
  • – give informed consent to receive MAID, meaning that the person has consented to receiving MAID after they have received all information needed to make this decision
  • – have a serious and incurable illness, disease or disability which will include a mental illness starting in March 17, 2023)
  • – be in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability
  • – have enduring and intolerable physical or psychological suffering that cannot be alleviated under conditions the person considers acceptable

“This includes conditions that are primarily within the domain of psychiatry, such as depression and personality disorders.” It does not include neurocognitive and neurodevelopmental disorders, or other conditions that may affect cognitive abilities.

“This temporary exclusion will provide the Government of Canada with more time to study how MAID on the basis of a mental illness can safely be provided and to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to protect those persons.

To support this work, the law requires the Ministers of Justice and Health to initiate an expert review, which will be tasked with considering protocols, guidance and safeguards for MAID for persons suffering from mental illness, and to make recommendations within the next year (by March 17, 2022),” the government of Canada says.