The Trudeau Liberals announced another delay in expanding eligibility criteria for Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID), also known as government-assisted suicide or euthanasia.
The proposed expansion to include individuals solely with mental health illnesses has been a subject of intense debate and scrutiny.
The Canadian federal government had initially passed legislation in 2022 to broaden the eligibility for medically assisted suicide to encompass mental health illnesses. This legislation was set to take effect in March 2023 but was subsequently postponed to March 2024.
Now, with the latest announcement, the implementation faces another delay.
Former Justice Minister David Lametti said last year that more time was needed to properly define which mental health sufferers are “irremediable.”
“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,” he added.
Evidently, the extra time wasn’t enough, as Health Minister Mark Holland said on Monday they’re still “not ready” to move forward with the expansion.
This second delay comes against a backdrop of growing public concern and outcry over the liberal application of euthanasia in Canada.
A Canadian veteran testified in December 2022 about being offered assisted suicide in response to her lack of wheelchair access at home.
Additionally, a young Canadian woman with Bipolar Disorder announced her intention to apply for assisted suicide when MAID was expanded.
Canada a world leader in government-assisted suicide
Health Canada’s most recent report on government-assisted suicide reveals a startling increase in euthanasia cases.
Since 2016, nearly 45,000 Canadians have chosen to die via government-assisted suicide, with an average yearly growth rate of 31.1% since 2019.
In 2022 alone, 13,241 individuals were euthanized, averaging 36 people per day.