Thursday, June 23, 2022

Euthanasia panel member quit: "Proposals don't adequately protect Canadians with mental illness.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Dr. Jeffrey Kirby
Toronto Star political reporter Jacques Gallant reported on June 22nd that Dr. Jeffrey Kirby resigned from the expert panel on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) for people with mental illnesses because the recommendations were not stringent enough. In fact, the Final Report of the Expert Panel on MAiD and Mental illness provides no clear guidelines.

Kirby told Gallant:

"More people will end up being approved for MAID and having MAID performed than is warranted, is the simplest way of saying it."
Gallant reported that Kirby resigned after learning that the Final Report would not include dissenting opinions. He said:
"In my view, the government needs to pay attention and learn from all the input they’re getting, and I would be concerned if it goes forward with just those soft recommendations," Kirby said in an interview with the Star. "If that’s all they incorporate, I will be legitimately concerned about it. "

"I just don’t think there’s enough safety there."

Gallant further reported that Kirby was upset with the committee process:

Kirby also wrote of "challenges" working on the panel, including "prolonged intervals of time" between the first meeting and the tabling of the report, when he said the panel did not meet. "There was such limited time to deal with such an important topic with so many dimensions." 
Gallant reported that another panel member, Ellen Cohen, resigned in December. According to her biography in the report, Cohen has lived experience with mental illness and has worked for 30 years in community mental health.

The language of the Expert Panel report appears to improve Canada's MAiD law, while in reality its recommendations include no clear guidelines.

The euthanasia law only requires that a physician or nurse be of the opinion that a person fits the criteria of the law. The Report of the Expert Panel on MAiD for Mental illness does not provide any assurances that people who are living with suicidal ideation will not die by euthanasia.

Canada has now expanded the killing to people with mental illness alone and this "Expert Panel" suggests that the killing be done without clear guidelines.

No comments: