In October, Liberal MPs defeated Bill C-314, introduced by Conservative MP Ed Fast, which would have stopped the planned expansion of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) for persons suffering solely from an underlying mental disorder. MP Fast introduced the Bill, following calls from leading psychiatrists who say that MAID for mental illness cannot be safely implemented.
There are two key problems regarding expanding MAID for mental illness. First, it is not possible for medical professionals to accurately predict whether someone with a mental illness will get better. As such, MAID for mental illness will result in persons prematurely ending their lives who otherwise could have gotten better. Second, it is difficult for medical professionals to accurately assess in the case of mental illness whether a MAID request is a rational one or motivated by suicidal ideation. Approximately 90 percent of Canadians who commit suicide suffer from mental health issues.
MAID for mental illness is set to become legal in Canada on March 17, 2024. Conservatives continue to urge the Liberals to reverse course on this reckless expansion of MAID, which will put the lives of vulnerable Canadians at risk. Canadians with mental illness deserve hope and help, not death.