Jan 30, 2023

By Christine Ross

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Alberta is objecting to Ottawa’s plan to extend eligibility for medically assisted death to people whose sole underlying condition is a mental illness.

A statement from Premier Danielle Smith’s office reads: “Given the government of Alberta’s responsibility to deliver health care services and to regulate the health-care profession, we object to the federal government moving forward with expanding … eligibility without agreement from the province.”

An update to assisted-dying law passed in 2021 included a two-year sunset clause that would see the expansion take effect this March.

Justice Minister David Lametti is now seeking further delay because of concerns that health-care might not be prepared, and the Liberal government wants to do more consultation.

The Alberta government is consulting with experts about the potential effects that expanding eligibility would have on that province’s health-care system.

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