Medical assistance in dying for those with a mental disorder as the sole underlying condition.
Bill C-7 committed to convening a panel of experts to recommend protocols, guidance, and safeguards to apply to requests made for medical assistance in dying by persons who have a mental disorder. That panel was convened in August 2021 and submitted their report to the Minister of Health and Justice on May 13, 2022.
On June 22, 2022, the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying tabled its interim report on MAID for those with a mental disorder as the sole underlying condition. On February 15, 2023, the Committee tabled its final report, covering all aspects of the Parliamentary Review.
On March 9, 2023, Bill C-39 received Royal Assent – extending the sunset clause on MAID and mental disorders until March 17, 2024.
Medical assistance in dying (MAID) for those whose sole underlying condition is a mental disorder (MD-SUMC) includes conditions that are primarily within the domain of psychiatry, such as depression and personality disorders. It does not include neurocognitive and neurodevelopmental disorders, nor other conditions that may affect cognitive abilities. To be clear, neurocognitive disorders such as dementia, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s are not considered mental illnesses and are not included in the temporary restriction as directed in Bill C-7 in March 2021. Some people with neurocognitive and neurodevelopmental disorders, such as dementia, can currently qualify for MAID, if they meet all the criteria.
A recent Ipsos Omnibus question showed that a strong majority (82%) of people across Canada support the notion that with the appropriate safeguards in place, an adult with the capacity to provide informed consent should be able to seek an assessment for medical assistance in dying for a severe, treatment-resistant mental disorder for which they experience intolerable suffering.
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This enactment amends An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying) to delay, until March 17, 2024.
On February 2, 2023, legislation was introduced to extend the sunset clause on MAID for mental disorders until March 17, 2024.
Sherry Moran, a volunteer with Dying With Dignity Canada and an individual with a mental disorder, shares her perspective on medical assistance in dying (MAID).
Dr. Derryck Smith, a psychiatrist in Vancouver, shares his perspective on medical assistance in dying (MAID) for mental disorders.
John Scully’s perspective on MAID for mental disorders, his response to concerns, and why he is an outspoken advocate for this issue.
A Report of the Special Joint Committee Medical Assistance in Dying
19 recommendations for establishing a MAID regime that addresses situations regarding incurability, irreversibility, individual capacity, suicidality and the impact of structural vulnerabilities.
Cody, an Alberta man in his late 30s, has been living with treatment-resistant depression and anxiety, as well as addiction. Facing continued suffering, his wish is to access medical assistance in dying (MAID).
The mother of a daughter who suffers from mental illness shares her story and insight into her daughter’s lived experience.
As part of our mission to educate and share knowledge, we are examining each issue of the Parliamentary Review in a series of blog posts. In this blog post, we discuss MAID for those with a mental illness.
John Scully is a former CBC/CTV/BBC journalist who has incurable depression, general anxiety disorder, and PTSD from covering over thirty-five wars.
“The legislation includes an obligation for the Minister of Health and the Minister of Justice to initiate an independent expert review ‘respecting recommended protocols, guidance and safeguards to apply to requests for medical assistance in dying by persons who have a mental illness.’”
Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) for people whose sole medical condition is mental illness is set to become legal in Canada in March 2024. We know that people have a lot of questions about MAiD for mental illness and CAMH’s position on this issue. This FAQ should help provide you with some answers.
Excluding individuals with mental disorders from end-of-life choice is stigmatizing, discriminatory and unconstitutional.
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