Canada delays euthanasia for the depressed until 2027

The Canadian Government has once again been forced to push back plans to allow those with mental health problems help to kill themselves.

Since legalising so-called Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) for certain circumstances in 2016, Canada has already abolished the requirement for a person to be terminally ill and had delayed extending it to those who suffer from mental health problems until next month.

But the expansion of the legislation has now been pushed back to 2027, after Canada’s Minister of Health Mark Holland admitted that the Government has heard “loud and clear that the health system is not yet ready”.

‘Care not killing’

The Government made the decision to delay in line with the Special Joint Committee on MAID’s recommendation, which highlighted that it is “difficult, if not impossible, to accurately predict the long-term prognosis of a person with a mental disorder”.

Health Ministers from across ten Canadian regions also urged the Government to “indefinitely pause the implementation of the expanded MAID eligibility criteria to enable further collaboration between provinces, territories, and the federal government”.

Campaign Life Coalition’s National President Jeff Gunnarson called for the plans to be completely axed, saying: “Canadians suffering from mental illness need compassionate care, not killing.”

Since MAID was first legalised in 2016, it has resulted in the deaths of 44,958 Canadians, with the number of those killed through the scheme rising by more than 350 per cent between 2017 and 2022.

‘Runaway train’

Last year, Dr K Sonu Gaind of the University of Toronto warned that legalising euthanasia for those with mental health problems would kill “marginalised suicidal Canadians who could have improved”.

Speaking to the Special Joint Committee on MAID, he said “worldwide evidence” shows that predictions on the incurability of mental illness are “wrong over half the time”.

Although Dr Gaind supports euthanasia for those deemed to be terminally ill, he said: “This expansion is not so much a slippery slope as a runaway train”.

“The government has plenty of signs we should not be proceeding. You can choose to go ahead, but you can’t pretend you weren’t warned. We are not ready.”

Also see:

‘Doctors most in favour of assisted suicide least involved in care of dying’

Labour MP: ‘It’s not left-wing to support assisted suicide’

Widdecombe: ‘Rantzen’s campaign for assisted suicide must not prevail’

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