Thursday, September 28, 2023

28% of Canadians support euthanasia for mental illness

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

New polling data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute, in partnership with Cardus, published on September 28, 2023 indicated that:

Three-in-ten (28%) say they support allowing those whose sole condition is mental illness to seek MAID, while half are opposed (50%).

Four-in-five (82%) Canadians feel mental health care should be improved first before MAID eligibility is expanded to include those whose sole condition is a mental illness. That includes seven-in-ten (69%) of those who support this expansion of MAID eligibility.

The data revealed that:

a vast majority of Canadians are concerned with the mental health care resources available in the country (80%) and the state of Canadians’ mental health overall (81%).

According to the Angus Reid Institute poll:

Overall, one-in-five (19%) Canadians say they’ve looked for treatment for a mental health issue from a professional in the last 12 months. In that group, two-in-five say they’ve faced barriers to receive the treatment they wanted. These obstacles appear to be more of an issue for women (45% of those who sought treatment say it was difficult to receive) and young Canadian adults aged 18-34 (51%).

The poll found that 40% of the people who sought treatment for mental health in the last 12 months faced barriers to receiving treatment.

Considering the difficulties that Canadians experience accessing mental health treatment, the Angus Reid Institute asked participants about their support for MAiD (euthanasia) in general and if they support the expansion of MAiD to include the sole condition of mental illness. The poll indicated that:

Majorities of Canadians support the previous rules governing MAID, first passed in 2016 (64%) and then updated in 2021 (60%), but there is more hesitation when it comes to this next step. Three-in-ten (28%) say they support allowing those whose sole condition is mental illness to seek MAID, while half are opposed (50%).

Nationally, 28% of Canadians support allowing those whose sole condition is mental illness to die by MAiD but the data varies by province. The poll indicated:

There is much more opposition to the proposed expansion to include mental illness as an eligible sole condition for MAID. At most, one-third in B.C. (33%), Manitoba (35%) and Quebec (31%) say they support this change to MAID eligibility.

The lowest support for MAiD for mental illness alone was (21%) in Alberta.

Support for MAiD for mental illness alone also varied by political affiliation. (22%) of Conservatives voters, (31%) of Liberals voters, (37%) of NDP voters, and (28%) of Bloc voters supported euthanasia for mental illness alone.

The Hon Ed Fast sponsored private members Bill C-314 to prevent the implementation of euthanasia for mental illness alone in Canada. Bill C-314 will have it's second hour of debate in parliament on Thursday October 5, 2023.

Canadians clearly support Bill C-314.

The Angus Reid Institute is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation. The Institute surveyed 1872 Canadians between September 19 - 22, 2023.

1 comment:

Tershia said...

People with mental illness are not always in a position to decide if they want to be euthanized or not. This will be another notch down the slippery slope. Which group of people will be the next ‘untermenschen’?