Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Illness
Canada’s new medical assistance in dying (MAID) law came into force on March 17, 2021. The new law expanded eligibility to MAID to include individuals whose death is not reasonably foreseeable, while also amending other aspects of the law.
The new MAID legislation temporarily excludes, until March 17, 2023, eligibility for MAID for individuals with a mental illness as their sole underlying medical condition. 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.”
The Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Illness was launched to undertake this review. As required by the law, a report containing the Expert Panel’s conclusions and recommendations must be submitted to the Ministers by March 17, 2022. This work will help ensure that practitioners are equipped to assess these requests in a safe and compassionate way based on rigorous clinical standards and safeguards that are applied consistently across the country.
Members of the Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Illness reflect a range of disciplines and perspectives, including clinical psychiatry, MAID assessment and provision, law, ethics, health professional training and regulation, mental health care services, as well as lived experience with mental illness.
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