On May 13, the Canadian government tabled the Final Report of the Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Illness in Parliament. This was a requirement of the MAID legislation that came into force on March 17, 2021.
Access to MAID in the case of individuals with a mental illness was delayed for 24 months in the March 2021 legislation to allow the Expert Panel to provide advice to the federal government on the safeguards, protocols and guidance that should apply in these cases.
The report sets out 19 recommendations for establishing a MAID regime that addresses situations regarding incurability, irreversibility, individual capacity, suicidality and the impact of structural vulnerabilities (structural vulnerabilities being the effects of interactions between a person’s sex, gender, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, sexuality, or institutional location, with one’s position in society).
The Expert Panel also concluded that many of these concerns are neither unique to requests for MAID from persons with a mental disorder, nor applicable to every requestor who has a mental disorder. In the view of the Expert Panel, their recommendations should apply to any case where similar concerns may arise, irrespective of the requester’s diagnosis. In keeping with their mandate, the Expert Panel has paid particular attention to these concerns in the context of mental disorders.
Read the report below: