Eligibility for MAID to be expanded to mental illness
Dec. 16, 2022
Global Korean Post
The revised legislation on medical assistance in dying (MAID) (former Bill C-7) became law on March 17, 2021.
The new law expanded eligibility to MAID to individuals whose death is not reasonably foreseeable and strengthened the safeguards for these applicants.
Under the current law, individuals whose sole medical condition is a mental illness, and who otherwise meet all eligibility criteria, will not be eligible for MAID until March 17, 2023.
This temporary exclusion was intended to provide the Government of Canada time to consider the Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Illness’ conclusions and recommendations, as well as the findings of the parliamentary Special Joint Committee on MAID.
The Government of Canada tabled the Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Illness’ final report in Parliament on May 13, 2022.
The report sets out 19 recommendations for establishing a MAID regime that addresses questions that may arise in some MAID requests, and particularly where the person requesting MAID is not at risk of dying of natural causes in the near term.
This includes questions of incurability, irreversibility, capacity, suicidality, and the impact of structural vulnerabilities (structural vulnerabilities being the effects of interactions between a person’s sex, gender, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, sexuality, or institutional location, with one’s position in society).
David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, and Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, said in a statement:
“Under the current MAID law, eligibility for MAID will be expanded to persons whose sole medical condition is a mental illness as of March 17, 2023. Listening to experts and Canadians, we believe this date needs to be temporarily delayed.