OTTAWA, ON, August 13, 2021 / CNW / – Medical assistance in dying (MAID) is an important, sensitive and emotional issue for many Canadians. The government of Canada is committed to ensuring that its laws support the autonomy and freedom of choice of Canadians and protect the vulnerable.

Today, the Honorable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, and the Honorable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced the Expert Group on MAID and Mental Illness, as required by the new legislation on MAID which entered into force on March 17, 2021. The expert group will present recommendations to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Justice in March 2022 on protocols, advice and guarantees for MAID by people with mental illness.

The 12 members of the Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Illness reflect a range of disciplines and perspectives, including clinical psychiatry, MAID assessment and delivery, law, ethics, training and regulation of health professionals, mental health care services, in addition to people who have lived experience with mental illness.

The new law on MAID requires the ministers of health and justice to present the final report of the expert group to parliament shortly after its receipt, after which the government of Canada and parliamentarians will be responsible for determining whether further legislative changes are needed.

The Expert Panel’s recommendations will help ensure that physician-assisted dying can be delivered in a safe and compassionate manner to people with mental illness, and that practitioners are equipped to assess requests against rigorous clinical standards. and legally mandated guarantees to be applied consistently in all Canada.


“Protecting vulnerable people, including those suffering from mental illness or in crisis, is a priority for the Government of Canada. This is why the work of the Expert Group is so important to me. The Expert Panel will provide us with independent and objective advice on the safe and appropriate means to assess and provide medical assistance in dying to people living with mental illness who seek this avenue to end their suffering. The work of the expert panel will be difficult, but it will reassure Canadians that we are balancing justice and compassion. ”

The Honorable Patty Hajdu
from Canada health Minister

“Our government remains committed to ensuring that our laws protect the vulnerable. This is especially important in the context of a complex problem like MAID. I look forward to following the work of the Expert Group on MAID and Mental Illness and reading the findings of the Expert Group. Their work is essential to ensure that physician-assisted dying is delivered in a safe and compassionate manner to all eligible Canadians.

The Honorable David Lametti, PC, QC, MP
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Fast facts

  • The revised MAID legislation (former Bill C-7) received Royal Assent and became law on March 17, 2021. The new law extended eligibility for medical assistance in dying to people whose death is not reasonably foreseeable, while also modifying other aspects of the guarantees included in the law.
  • Canadians whose only health problem is a mental illness and who otherwise meet all eligibility criteria will not be eligible for medical assistance in dying until. March 17, 2023. This temporary exclusion will provide the government with Canada over time to study the expert group’s findings and recommendations and determine the best approach to address them.
  • According to the revised legislation, a report containing the conclusions and recommendations of the expert group is to be submitted to the ministers by March 17, 2022 (i.e. within one year of the date of Royal Assent of former Bill C-7).
  • The expert group’s report will help parliamentarians determine whether additional safeguards should be added for people seeking medical assistance in dying and suffering from mental illness. Regulatory bodies and professional associations can also develop appropriate guidance and resources for their members in anticipation of MAID eligibility for people with mental illness in particular. the 17th of March, 2023.
  • Changes to from Canada The AMM law is the result of more than five years of experience with AMM in Canada. The new law responds to feedback from over 300,000 Canadians, experts, practitioners, stakeholders, provinces and territories, provided during the months of January and February 2020 consultations. It is also based on the testimony of more than 120 expert witnesses heard throughout the study of former Bill C-7 by the House of Commons and the Senate.

Related links

SOURCE Health Canada

For further information: Contacts: Thiery Bélair, Office of the Honorable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Health Canada, 613-957-2983, [email protected]; Chantalle Aubertin, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, (613) 992-6568, [email protected]; Media Relations, Department of Justice Canada, 613-957-4207, [email protected]; Public inquiries: 613-957-2991, 1-866-225-0709

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