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Canada delays access to medical assistance in dying for mental disorders


The Canadian government on Thursday postponed plans to expand medical assistance in dying for people with mental health issues for a year,...

The Canadian government postponed for a year Thursday its plan to expand medical assistance in dying for people with mental disorders, due to concerns from the medical community.

Since 2016, medical assistance in dying has been available to consenting and responsible adults suffering from a serious, incurable and irreversible illness, and whose death was near.

The law had been extended in 2021 to people whose life is not in danger in the short term and the Canadian government wanted from March to allow people whose only medical problem is mental illness to have access to it.

“Complex and personal question”

But David Lametti, Minister of Justice, announced Thursday the postponement of this measure for one year.

“We have to be careful

,” he said during a press briefing, referring to a

“very complex and deeply personal question”.

"We need to take it step by step, making sure that the profession and Canadian society in general have taken this step

on board ," he added.

According to the Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, the delay

“would offer more time in particular to regulatory authorities and clinicians to fully understand and implement the practices and guidelines”.

Since the law came into force, more than 30,000 Canadians have had medical assistance in dying (MAID), according to the latest government data from 2021. Polls show Canadians support majority this practice, but reports have recently pointed to fears of excesses, concerning the use of MAID by poor or isolated people.

An investigation was also launched after several veterans were offered this option by an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-02

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