Psychiatrist: ‘Canada must stop the runaway train of euthanasia expansion’

Legalising euthanasia for those with mental health problems will kill “marginalised suicidal Canadians who could have improved”, Canada has been warned.

Speaking to the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID), Doctor K Sonu Gaind of the University of Toronto said “worldwide evidence” shows that predictions on the incurability of mental illness are “wrong over half the time”.

Since legalising euthanasia in certain circumstances in 2016, Canada has already abolished the requirement for a person to be terminally ill and intends to extend it to those who suffer from mental health problems in 2024.


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.”

This expansion is not so much a slippery slope as a runaway train

He highlighted that twice as many psychiatrists oppose expanding euthanasia for mental health problems as support it, demonstrating that “not only has this not been driven by consensus, but that a small minority with ideological viewpoints who are true believers have driven the expansion”.


Writing in The Independent, columnist James Moore called Canada a ‘frightening’ example of how legalising euthanasia in the UK would threaten those with disabilities.

He said disabled Canadians “now feel pressured into taking it up for a lack of other options”, such as Amir Farsoud who applied for euthanasia as an alternative to being made homeless.

Moore stated: “It is no good saying yes, but that wouldn’t happen here because we’ll include safeguards. So did Canada. They were chipped away at. It is now talking about offering Maid to people with depression. This supposedly ‘progressive’ nation is turning into a dystopia before our eyes.”

The House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee is due to report on its inquiry into the issue in the new year, while Holyrood is also set to consider Liam McArthur MSP’s Assisted Dying (Scotland) Bill.

Also see:

Majority of UK doctors would not facilitate assisted suicide

Canadian mother with stage four cancer pushed to consider euthanasia

Former medic dubbed ‘Dr Death’ wants no restrictions for assisted suicide in Ireland

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