Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Alberta Premier, Danielle Smith, objects to expanding euthanasia to include mental illness.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On December 15, Canada's Liberal government announced that they are delaying the implementation of euthanasia for mental illness alone. Euthanasia for mental illness alone was approved by Bill C-7 in March 2021, but a moratorium was placed on it until March 17, 2023 to provide enough time for the government to establish rules for killing people with mental illnesses.

The December 15 announcement to delay implementation of euthanasia for mental illness alone did not include a new time-line.

Premier Danielle Smith
An article by Arthur Green for the Western Standard quotes Alberta Premier, Danielle Smith as stating:
"We are consulting with legal and mental health experts regarding the proposed legislation and its impact on those with mental health challenges," said a statement from Smith's office on Monday.

"Given the Government of Alberta’s responsibility to deliver health care services and to regulate the health care profession, we object to the federal government moving forward with expanding MAiD eligibility without agreement from the province."

Alex Schadenberg
Green also interviewed me (Alex Schadenberg) and reported:
negative press pushed back the government’s timeline for the time being.

“The overwhelming pressure on the government was to hold back now,”

Schadenberg said the Liberals may have delayed the implementation because of a possible election in the spring. He expects the final guidelines will probably require a year’s effort of mental health supports and a psychiatrist’s additional approval, similar to what is done in the Netherlands.
I actually stated that the final guidelines could require a year of mental health supports before the psychiatrist approves the death, as is required by protocols in the Netherlands.

Canadian provinces have the right to decide whether or not they will permit euthanasia for mental illness. Québec has already decided not to permit euthanasia for mental illness alone. Hopefully Alberta will open up the debate by declaring that they will not implement euthanasia for mental illness.


geoff kiernan said...

So who decides that a person is mentally ill? Does the 'mentally ill' have any input?

Alex Schadenberg said...

Actually Geoff, a person is asking for euthanasia (MAiD) based on mental illness. Now that people have heard in the media that it is possible, those with suicidal ideation are seeking death in this manner.