Canadians are clearly divided on MAiD based solely on mental illness. From federal laws and legal cases to medical guidelines and published studies in Belgium and the Netherlands, we can make more informed decisions regarding MAiD eligibility for psychiatric patients.
Ottawa has decided to delay legislation that would expand MAiD to those with mental illness. But having a mental illness should not preclude one from decision-making related to suffering and end-of-life care.
With the expansion of medical assistance in dying (MAiD) to include those whose sole condition is mental illness fast approaching, we asked a panel of experts whether they felt this was a move in the right direction — and what they hope to see moving forward.
The new MAiD law should provoke reflection about our own attitudes toward death. A place to start is a wise 12-minute video produced by a prominent geriatrician shortly before his own medically assisted death.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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