Final report of the expert panel on MAID and mental illness

On March 17, 2021, Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying) received Royal Assent and came into force. This Bill amended Canada’s original 2016 MAiD legislation, Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying). The effect of Bill C-7 […]

Medical assistance in dying and mental disorder as the sole underlying condition: An interim report. Report of the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying

The Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying (the Committee) was re-created in March 2022 and tasked with reviewing “the provisions of the Criminal Code relating to  medical assistance in dying and their application, including but not limited to issues relating to mature minors, advance requests, mental illness, the state of palliative care in […]

Free will and the desire for suicide in mental illness

The desire to die brings about the most radical consequences that can occur in a human life. It therefore requires a high degree of justification. Questions have been raised as to whether this justification can be given in the case of a suicide desire in mental illness. Landmark court  decisions and the practice of assisted […]

Investigating the relationship between euthanasia and/or assisted suicide and rates of non-assisted suicide: Systematic review

Background: Euthanasia and assisted suicide (EAS) are practices that aim to alleviate the suffering of people with life-limiting illnesses, but are controversial. One area of debate is the relationship between EAS and suicide rates in the population, where there have been claims that availability of EAS will reduce the number of self-initiated deaths (EAS and […]

From involuntary incarceration to Medically Assisted Suicide: Mental illness, suicide and autonomous judgement

Background Involuntary commitment of the mentally ill and forced treatment of suicidal persons are practiced worldwide, with underlying premises that contrast with the respect for autonomy upon which Medically Assisted Death (MAD) (euthanasia and assisted suicide) for the mentally ill is based. Methodology We trace the transition from paternalistic mass incarcerations to hospitalization only for […]

Suicide among the elderly in France and Switzerland: What does the societal context tell us about the place of relatives?

Based on a comparison of accounts by relatives of elderly people who died by suicide in France and by assisted suicide in Switzerland, this article analyzes the place of family members and their interpretations of the suicide of their elderly relative. It highlights the way the societal and legal context influences the collection of data, […]

Bill C-7. An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying)

SUMMARY This enactment amends the Criminal Code to, among other things, (a) repeal the provision that requires a person’s natural death be reasonably foreseeable in order for them to be eligible for medical assistance in dying; (b) specify that persons whose sole underlying medical condition is a mental illness are not eligible for medical assistance […]

Suicide attempt after determination of ineligibility for assisted death: A case series

Medical assistance in dying (MAID) and similar right-to-die laws are becoming increasingly common in jurisdictions across North America and elsewhere. To be eligible for MAID in Canada, requesters must have a serious illness, intolerable suffering, and a reasonably foreseeable natural death. They must also undergo two assessments to confirm eligibility. Although a growing body of […]

Grief after euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide: A systematic review

Background: Several countries have regulated euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS). Research has looked at the experiences of patients, family, and professionals. However, little is known of the effects on bereaved individuals. Aims: We aimed to assess (a) what is known about the grief and mental health of people bereaved by euthanasia or PAS and (b) the quality of […]

Do doctors differentiate between suicide and physician-assisted death? A qualitative study into the views of psychiatrists and general practitioners

Physician-assisted death for patients suffering from psychiatric disorders is allowed in the Netherlands under certain circumstances. One of the central problems that arise with regard to this practice is the question of whether it is possible to distinguish between suicidality and a request for physician-assisted death. We set up this study to gain insight into […]

Shades of gray: Conscientious objection in medical assistance in dying.

With the advent of legalized medical assistance in dying [MAiD] in Canada in 2016, nursing is facing intriguing new ethical and theoretical challenges. Among them is the concept of conscientious objection, which was built into the legislation as a safeguard to protect the rights of healthcare workers who feel they cannot participate in something that […]

Cross-sectional research into people passing away through self-ingesting self-collected lethal medication after receiving demedicalized assistance in suicide

This study describes the characteristics of—and the counseling received by—counselees who passed away through self-ingesting self-collected lethal medication after receiving demedicalised assistance in suicide. We analyzed registration forms filled in by counselors working with Foundation De Einder about 273 counselees who passed away from 2011 to 2015. The majority of these counselees had a serious […]

The debate over whether physician-assisted-suicide is the same or different from suicide

The American Association of Suicidology argued that physician aid-in-dying is not the same as suicide. In this essay, it is noted that suicidal acts by each method chosen for suicide have unique properties and different psychological correlates. Therefore, physician aid-in-dying and physician assisted suicide can be viewed as suicide by a unique method and, therefore, […]

Development of the AAS statement on “suicide” and “physician aid in dying”

In August 2017, the American Association of Suicidology board passed a statement titled “Suicide” is not the same as “Physician aid in dying,” which was developed partly in response to the fact that aid in dying is now legal in a number of jurisdictions. In Phase 1, eight members of the AAS who had indicated […]

Is suicide prevention an absolute? Considerations when medical assistance in dying is an option

Suicide prevention services do their utmost to prevent suicides with all persons, regardless of the suicidal individual’s characteristics and reasons given for wanting to die. Their assumptions are that doing otherwise constitutes discrimination and that they would venture into an ethical morass if they attempt to determine whether some lives are more worthy of saving […]

State of knowledge on medical assistance in dying for mature minors, advance requests, and where a mental disorder is the sole underlying medical condition: Summary of reports

The state of knowledge on medical assistance in dying where a mental disorder is the sole underlying medical condition: The expert panel working group on MAID where a mental disorder is the sole underlying medical condition

The state of knowledge on advance requests for medical assistance in dying: The expert panel working group on advance requests for MAID

The state of knowledge on medical assistance in dying for mature minors: The expert panel working group on MAID for mature minors

Proposal for a position statement on expansion of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) where a mental disorder is the sole underlying medical condition

Paper delivered October 31, 2018 at CASP conference.