Complex Debate
Posted: Jan 14, 2021

The MAiD Debate

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) has been legal in Canada since June 17, 2016. There was heated debate before legalization and it continues today over expanding MAiD to vulnerable groups, such as youth and those with mental illnesses and disabilities. Because it is not as simple as being for or against, we've organized some compelling arguments that sit on both sides of the spectrum.

Those who support or consider expanding MAiD
Those who oppose or consider limitations on MAiD
by Meera Mahendiran

Parliament is looking into offering MAiD to people whose only underlying condition is a mental illness. But this might be premature. After all, shouldn't we first improve mental health care in Canada?

by Ralph Lewis

Depression biases a person’s outlook, but bias is not the same as mental incompetence. Doctors must balance protecting patients in vulnerable mental states from exercising poor judgment against respecting their autonomy.

by Gali Katznelson

Rather than rushing to amend our Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) law, Parliament should be focused on expanding access to social services.

by Peter Allatt

You want to introduce fundamental change to a controversial practice during a pandemic? Bill C-7 will become law while every healthcare organization in the country is swamped by the worst crisis in living memory.

by Christina Sinding

For my Mom, palliative care and MAiD unfolded gracefully together. My family’s experience is one among many that might prompt Canada’s palliative care organizations to reconsider their relationship to MAiD

by Dianne Godkin

Three years post legislation, it is time to reflect on whether the 10-day waiting period is an effective mechanism for confirming that a wish is enduring.

by Lucas Vivas Pascal Bastien

Since most MAiD requests stem from concerns over autonomy and control, we must ask ourselves if supporting the expansion of MAiD for a few justifies exposing an ever-increasing number of vulnerable patients to its irreversible harms.

by Kieran Quinn

In relying on our judicial system to decide who has the right to access MAiD as a means to relieve intolerable suffering, we are delaying important decisions on how to deliver high-quality end-of-life care to all Canadians.

by Noam Berlin Zeeshan Ansari Seema Marwaha

Ultimately, ending someone’s life who cannot actively consent to it at that moment, says Wales, “is something to think about very seriously.”

by Michel Bilodeau

The government of Ontario’s decision to protect faith-based institutions makes a lot of sense. It is now up to government to ensure that all those in need have access to medically assisted death.

by Jocelyn Downie

The Ontario government is demonstrating it will privilege the interests of faith-based healthcare institutions at the expense of patients who, by definition, are experiencing enduring and intolerable suffering.

by Vanessa Milne Debra Bournes Jeremy Petch

Now that MAiD has been implemented, more attention is being paid to the emotional impact it will have on healthcare professionals who perform it. Based on the evidence from other jurisdictions, it can have profound effect.

by Wendy Glauser Michael Nolan Jeremy Petch

Should someone with depression be assisted in ending their life? It’s a question that many in health care are currently wrestling with. And it’s not a hypothetical one.

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