Ottawa, Canada, Feb 14, 2020 / 15:00 pm
A new report has warned against expanding access to euthanasia in Canada to those with mental illnesses. The Expert Advisory Group released the report on Medical Assistance in Dying on Thursday, suggesting various safeguards the Canadian government should adopt in order to protect vulnerable populations.
The Feb. 13 document was written in response to a recent assessment released by a think tank that endorsed MAiD for patients who have a mental illness as their sole underlying medical condition. "MAiD" is the legal term in Canada for the procedure commonly referred to as euthanasia or assisted suicide.
"Unlike other medical conditions with a known, predictable course, evidence shows that mental illnesses can never be predicted to be irremediable," says the report, titled Canada at a Crossroads: Recommendations on Medical Assistance in Dying and Persons with a Mental Disorder.
"MAiD policy and legislation should explicitly acknowledge that determinations of irremediability and irreversible decline cannot be made for mental illnesses at this time, and therefore applications for MAiD for the sole underlying medical condition of a mental disorder cannot fulfill MAiD eligibility requirements," says the report's core recommendation.