Year: 2023 Source: Cham, CH: Springer. (2023). p. 245-252. SIEC No: 20231737
The introduction of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) legislation in 2016 has affected the suicide prevention community in significant ways. People considering suicide and people considering MAID when their death is reasonably foreseeable and they are in irremediable physical circumstances may both express a wish to die. These two groups can be considered distinct entities, however. Suicide is a possible yet preventable outcome of mental anguish, burdensomeness, and psycho-logical pain in the context of a painful life. Recovery from suicidal ideation is possible—it is not irremediable. If Bill C-7 (2021), an amendment to MAID that would expand eligibility to those suffering mental illness, comes into effect in March of 2024, the impacts will be severe, as distinctions between suicide and MAID will further erode. Many vulnerable individuals may decide on this MAID option without fully exploring recovery options. Those of us in suicide prevention believe a shift in values must occur to mitigate the impacts of this legislation. This means, ultimately, a belief that mental health care is health care and those suffering mental illness must have open and easy access to care.