Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Illness
On May 13, 2022, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, and the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, with the support of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, tabled the final report of the Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Illness in Parliament.
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. A report containing the Panel's conclusions and recommendations was tabled in Parliament on May 13, 2022. The findings will assist the Government in developing its approach for safely providing access to MAID for persons with a mental illness. This work will also 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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