New Bill to Delay the Expansion of Assisted Dying for Mental Illness – National |

The federal government is expected to introduce legislation Thursday to delay the extension of medically assisted death eligibility for persons whose only underlying condition is a mental disorder.

Justice Minister David Lametti announced in December that Ottawa intended to seek the delay after hearing concerns, the health care system might not be ready for an expanded regimen, but he did not offer a timetable for how long the delay would take.

An update to the assisted dying law that passed in 2021 put a two-year clock on the extension of eligibility that expires in March.

Click to play video: 'Thoughts of suicide 'not a reason' to die with medical assistance: Lametti'

Suicidal thoughts ‘not a reason’ to die with medical assistance: Lametti

The Liberal government did not originally plan for that law to extend eligibility for assisted dying to people whose only underlying condition is mental illness, but it passed a Senate amendment to do so.

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The senators argued that excluding people with mental illness would conflict with the Charter right to equal treatment.

Conservative MP Michael Cooper says the government’s decision to seek a delay underscores its “reckless approach” to expanding the regime, saying the Liberals should rule out expansion altogether.


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