Mental Health

published : 2023-10-27

Canada Set to Allow Assisted Suicide for People with Mental Illness as MP Warns of 'Culture of Death'

Conservative lawmaker warns that the inclusion of mentally ill patients will continue transforming Canada into a 'culture of death'

A photo of a person facing a solitary figure sitting on a bench, symbolizing the struggles faced by individuals with mental illness. (Taken with Nikon D850)

A conservative member of parliament in Canada is warning its impending approval of assisted suicide for mental health patients is creating a 'culture of death.'

Conservative MP Ed Fast, who tried and failed to repeal 'medical assistance in dying' (MAID) for those suffering exclusively mental afflictions, lamented the increased acceptance of assisted suicide.

'Conservatives will continue to fight for those who are left behind by this legislation, and we will not support the expansion of MAID to include mental illness,' Fast said, according to the Toronto Star.

'Have we gone too far and too fast with Canada’s assisted suicide program?' Fast asked. 'Will we evolve into a culture of death as the preferred option for those who suffer from mental illness or will we choose life?'

An image of a diverse group of activists holding signs advocating for better mental health support and opposing assisted suicide. (Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)

Medical assistance in dying has been legally available in Canada since 2016 for 'legally eligible patients.'

Eligible patients are 18 and older suffering from serious and incurable illness, disease or disability.

However, Canadians suffering only from mental illness are not yet eligible for the program.

Individuals with only a mental health condition are due to receive MAID access in March 2024, allowing them to seek life-ending procedures from government healthcare providers.

A close-up shot of hands intertwined, representing the importance of compassion and human connection in dealing with mental illness. (Taken with Sony Alpha a7 III)

Fast put forward a bill to form a committee on the issue for further consideration but that proposal was shot down Tuesday by Liberal and Bloc Québécois members of parliament.

Beyond Canada, 10 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have made physician-assisted suicide legal with 10 other states proposing similar laws in 2023.

The states include California, Montana, Vermont, Washington, New Jersey, and Hawaii.