Federal Justice Minister David Lametti Wikipedia

MAiD for mentally ill delayed by Parliament

  • February 2, 2023

The expansion of assisted suicide in Canada to those suffering solely from mental illness is being delayed by a year.

“It is clear more time is needed to get this right,” Federal Justice Minister David Lametti said as he announced in the House of Commons on Feb. 2 the introduction of legislation to delay the controversial law that expands the guidelines covering medical assistance in dying (MAiD).

"The proposed one-year expansion is necessary to ensure that we move forward on this sensitive and complex issue in a prudent and measured way,” Lametti said.

MAiD legislation was originally passed in 2016, but the Superior Court of Quebec struck it down because it only applied to people whose death was “reasonably foreseeable.” Parliament amended MAiD in March 2021 to align with the court decision and also vowed to expand MAiD to apply to those with mental illness by March of this year.

Lametti said the federal government is seeking the one-year extension to ensure all the studies of the risks to that community of people are completed and provinces can put the measures in place to deliver the services.

MAiD legislation has come under attack from several groups, including the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and many health care professionals.

Meanwhile, Dying with Dignity Canada, an advocate for MAiD, said it was “deeply saddened” by the prospect of delaying extension of assisted suicide to the mentally ill and will “extend their suffering.”

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.