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Senators and Congress Debate Requirements for Medically Assisted Death for Mental Illness – National

One expert told a special joint committee of the House and Senate that people with mental disorders can suffer for decades and that their suffering is just as effective as those who suffer physical pain. He said there is

People suffering from mental disorders alone will be eligible for dying assistance in March, and Dr. Justin Dembo, a psychiatrist and medical aid for dying evaluators, also said stigma about mental illness warned the Committee against perpetuating the

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Mental health advocates warn that the outcome and treatment of mental illness are difficult to predict, and that the desire to die is often a symptom, but earlier this year an expert panel concluded that medically-assisted death could be a symptom. said the existing eligibility criteria and safeguards in the law were adequate.

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Both debates took place today with a handful of witnesses appearing before a committee deliberating on what policy to recommend to lawmakers ahead of a March deadline.

Ellen Cohen, coordinator advocate for the National Mental Health Inclusion Network, told committee members that Canada needs laws to help patients, not hurt them.

“I don’t think there were any recommended safety measures,” she said.

She resigned from the federal government’s expert panel on MAID and mental illness in December 2021.

The Commission released its report on May 13, concluding that existing eligibility criteria and safeguards are adequate “so long as they are properly construed in view of the uniqueness of mental disorders.”

Dembo, one of the panel of experts, said following these guidelines for people with mental disorders “will ensure a very comprehensive, thorough and careful approach.” said.

She told the commission that people with mental disorders can suffer for decades.

“To say that people with mental illness are not covered is a broad statement that does not even give them the opportunity to be valued as unique individuals in their circumstances, and it is very stigmatizing to me.” .

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Disability rights groups express concern over medically assisted death


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An interim report, released earlier this year, falls short of making its own recommendations, but concludes by urging governments to take steps to implement the panel’s recommendations “in a timely manner.” .

The final report from the Commission, complete with recommendations addressing other areas such as access for mature minors, prior requests, palliative care status and protection of persons with disabilities, was released on 17 October. is scheduled for

Cohen said the timeline to extend legislation by March is unrealistic.

“I hope this government will extend this deadline,” she said.

But Dembo disagreed, telling parliamentarians and senators that evaluators were already experienced following existing guidelines.

“Whether March 2023 is a realistic deadline will depend on how diligently and effectively various state and local agencies are committed to implementing guidelines based on the panel report. I hope we can,” she said.

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Commission reviews were mandated by the MAID law, which requires parliamentary reviews to begin five years after the law went into effect in 2016.


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The panel and commission use the term “mental disorder” rather than “mental illness,” the report said, adding that there is no standard definition for the latter and its use can be confusing. .

Conservative MPs on the committee submitted an interim report to the contrary earlier this year and said simply supporting the committee’s recommendations was “problematic”.

MPs argue there are “too many unanswered questions” on the subject, and nothing prevents the commission from reconsidering whether euthanasia should be offered to this category of people. claimed.

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“Laws of this kind need to be guided by science, not ideology,” the Conservative Party wrote in May, with possible consequences “facilitate the death of Canadians who could have been better off.” would be completely unacceptable.

© 2022 Canadian Press



Senators and Congress Debate Requirements for Medically Assisted Death for Mental Illness – National

Source link Senators and Congress Debate Requirements for Medically Assisted Death for Mental Illness – National

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