Dec 16, 2022

By Jane Brown

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A statement from Dying with Dignity Canada expresses disappointment, after the Trudeau Liberals announced a delay in expanding the eligibility for medically assisted dying to include those whose sole underling condition is a mental disorder .

Justice Minister David Lametti told a news conference Thursday, the delay comes out of a need for an abundance of caution.

“I think at the end of the day, we want to be prudent,” Lametti explained, “We want to move in a step by step way so that we don’t make mistakes.”

An update to the legislation, passed in the spring of 2021, included a provision to temporarily exclude those with mental disorders. That provision is set to expire on March 17th.

Earlier this month, Libby Znaimer spoke with the psychiatrist calling for a delay and is asking how do you tell the difference between temporary suicidal thoughts and an irremedial condition?

And this past Monday, pollster John Wright told Libby during Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back, Canadians do not appear ready to accept mental illness as a reason to allow medical assistance in dying.

“The debate to me is really about the imminence of death versus the quality of life, and I think that right now, most Canadians are on the side of those who are terminal or face imminent death as opposed to having a quality of life discussion,” Wright explained.

But Dying with Dignity CEO Helen Long says there have been rigourous studies on how the expansion will work. She calls the delay stigmatizing, discriminatory and unconstitutional.

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