Medical Assistance in Dying for Mental Illness – Yes or No.

A decision on whether to offer Medical Assistaince in Dying – or MaiD –  to people living with a mental illness in Canada has been delayed again until March of 2024.

It’s such a complex issue and there’s a real division in the mental health community over whether MaiD should be expanded to include mental health. Some psychiatrists are firmly against it and others are firmly in favour.

We mostly hear about MaiD for people who have terminal illness with no chance of recovery, such as end stage cancer.  But in fact, death doesn’t have to be imminent or foreseeable but the illness must be quote “grievous and irremediable”.

As of now there are no agreed upon standards for psychiatrists or other healthcare practitioners.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is concerned with the federal government’s intention to extend MAiD eligibility to people whose sole medical condition is mental illness, in part because of the lack of consensus on the issue.

Eram Chhogala is an emergency trauma nurse in Toronto and she has been on the show a few times to talk about the increasing number of people coming to emergency with a mental health issue. She doesn’t support  MaiD for mental illness. Instead, she says governments should put more money into researching treatments