Delay of eligibility for medical assistance at death for persons suffering solely from mental illness proposed by the Ministers of Justice and Health
OTTAWA, IN, February 2, 2023 /CNW/ – Medical assistance in dying (MAID) is a complex and deeply personal issue. The government of Canada is committed to ensuring that our laws reflect the needs of Canadians, protect those who may be vulnerable, and support autonomy and freedom of choice.
Under Canada Under current MAID law, individuals suffering solely from a mental illness who meet all eligibility criteria and for whom all applicable safeguards are met would be eligible for MAID as of March 17, 2023. However, today, the Honorable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canadathe Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, and the Honorable carolyn bennettMinister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, introduced legislation to extend the temporary exclusion from eligibility for MAID where a person’s only medical condition is mental illness until March 17, 2024.
This proposed one-year extension would provide additional time to prepare for the safe and consistent assessment and provision of MAID where the person’s only underlying medical condition is mental illness, and would allow time to consider the final report of the Joint Special Committee on MAID. , which is expected in February 2023.
Meanwhile, the Government of Canada will continue to work closely with provinces, territories and the healthcare community to finalize and disseminate key resources. The primary purpose of this proposed extension is to allow more time to ensure that MAID assessors and providers are ready to assess MAID applications for persons suffering solely from a mental illness in a safe and consistent manner throughout the world. Canada by the time the proposed extension ends.
“There is no question that medical assistance in dying is a very complex and deeply personal issue. We strongly believe that the proposed one-year extension, until March 17, 2024The temporary exclusion from eligibility for people whose only medical condition is mental illness will provide sufficient time to ensure that our health care system protects those who may be vulnerable and supports autonomy and freedom of choice.”
The Honorable David Lametti, PC, KC, MP
minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
“Since MAID is a very personal and complex issue, the temporary extension would allow more time for regulators, clinicians and others to better understand and implement the guidelines and practices. This extension would play a crucial role in protecting the most vulnerable while supports their autonomy, and ensuring that counselors and providers are prepared and comfortable to support MAID for people living with mental illness, when available.”
The Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos
“The safety of Canadians, including the most vulnerable, remains at the center of our actions, along with support for individual autonomy. Canadians can be assured that we are taking a careful and considered approach in implementing MAID for people living with a mental illness. illness.”
The Honorable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Deputy Minister of Health
In March 17, 2021the Revised MAID legislation (former Bill C-7) received Royal Assent and became law. The previous C-7 bill expanded MAID eligibility to people whose death is not reasonably foreseeable and strengthened safeguards for these applicants. With these changes, people whose only medical condition is a mental illness, and who meet all the eligibility criteria, are not eligible for MAID until they March 17, 2023. This temporary exclusion was intended to provide the Government of Canada time to consider the conclusions and recommendations of the Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Illness, as well as the findings of the Parliamentary Joint Special Committee on MAID.
In December 15, 2022the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canadathe Minister of Health, and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Deputy Minister of Health Announced the government of Canada intention to introduce legislation in early 2023 to extend the temporary exclusion from eligibility for persons suffering solely from a mental illness beyond March 17, 2023. The presentation of Bill C-39 responds to this commitment.
In May 13, 2022the government of Canada presented the Final Report of the Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Illness in parliament The report sets out 19 recommendations to establish a MAID regime that addresses issues that may arise in some MAID applications, and in particular where the natural death of the person applying for MAID is not reasonably foreseeable. This includes issues of incurability, irreversibility, capacity, suicidality, and the impact of structural vulnerabilities (structural vulnerabilities are the effects of interactions between sex, gender, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, sexuality, or location institutional status of a person, with one’s position in society).
In June 22, 2022the parliamentary Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying published a interim report on the issue of the MAID and mental illness. The Special Joint Committee heard from various expert witnesses, including legal experts, hospice providers, MAID practitioners, physicians, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, and the chair of the Independent Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Illness.
Parliamentary Special Joint Committee on MAID Final Report is expected to February 17, 2023, and can provide additional information about MAID applications in complex circumstances, including for people whose only medical condition is mental illness. The proposed extension would allow time to consider this final report.
In March 2023, MAID’s standards of practice will be ready for adoption by healthcare regulators and physicians. The government of Canada has appointed a working group of experts to develop these MAID standards of practice, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, regulatory bodies and clinicians from around the world. Canada.
The government of Canada it is also supporting the development of an accredited Canadian MAID curriculum to support the education and training of physicians. The curriculum will consist of seven modules, including a module on MAID and mental disorders. The release of the modules will begin on the fall 2023with the aim that all modules will be available by the end of 2023.
SOURCE Department of Justice Canada
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