Reported 18 Dec 2022, Leyland Cecco for The Guardian: Canada delays right to physician-assisted death for mentally ill people. 1
This article reports on the Canadian government backing down apparently due to public outcry on the subject.
“Starting March 2023, Canada is expected to become one of the few countries in the world to allow physician-assisted death for chronic mental disorders.
“But on Thursday, the justice minister, David Lametti, said the government would seek to delay the expansion of medical assistance in dying (Maid), following criticism from psychiatrists and physicians across the country.
“We are listening to what we are hearing and being responsive, to make sure we move forward in a prudent way. We know we need to get this right in order to protect those who are vulnerable and also to support an individual’s autonomy and freedom of choice,” Lametti said.
Assisted dying already out of control
What the Canadian government didn’t mention was the existing assisted dying legislation they are supposed to be supervising is being abused and out of control.
In December 2022. Fox News reported on the case of Christine Gauthier, a 52-year-old retired veteran and Paralympian, who in response to her request for a wheelchair lift to be installed in her home, was sent a medically-assisted suicide kit by Veteran Affairs Canada with the statement: “I have a letter saying that if you’re so desperate, madam, we can offer you MAID, medical assistance in dying.” It is known that at least 4 veterans were prompted to commit suicide. 2
Grave concerns exist in Canada regarding the administration of the existing medically assisted death program:
“The looming expansion has attracted intense scrutiny and, for some, cast doubt on the country’s assisted dying programme for the non-terminally ill.
“Early critics of the programme include three United Nations human rights experts, who wrote to the federal government in 2021 warning that the expanded law (to include disabled non-terminal people) could devalue the lives of disabled people by implying that a serious disability was worse than death.
“A number of reports suggesting that some Canadians have opted for assisted death, at least in part because they could not afford adequate housing, have also prompted fears it could be used as a solution for societal challenges – that someone may seek out Maid because of poverty, lack of housing, or extreme loneliness.
“Leaving people to make this choice [to die] because the state is failing to fulfil their fundamental human rights is unacceptable,” said Marie-Claud Landry, chief commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission in a statement in May.
“Others have pointed to what they describe as the programme’s flimsy safeguards.
“The Maid law is very Canadian. It was left so vague it could offend nobody,” Dr Li said.”
The law, she said, “is not specific enough to protect people.” 3
Per Lanterna: Our view on this subject pretty clear in the article: Euthanasia for the mentally ill – the slippery slope.
Psychiatry, unable to determine the cause of any mental illness, unable to cure any mental illness, and dominated by commercial interests should never be asked to determine life or death.
- The Guardian 18 December 2022. Canada delays right to physician-assisted death for mentally ill people
- Fox News. 2 December 2022. Canada delays right to physician-assisted death for mentally ill people
- BBC News. 14 Jan 2023. Who can die? Canada wrestles with euthanasia for the mentally ill.