Thursday, October 19, 2023

Parliament to re-examine the expansion of euthanasia to people with mental illness

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

after Bill C-314 was defeated all members of Parliament agreed:

"to recall the special joint committee on medical assistance in dying (MAID) to provide further oversight. The move came after a failed effort by a Conservative MP to repeal access to MAID for people whose sole underlying medical condition is a mental disorder."

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is pleased that the government will consider further oversight of the law, however, we are not confident that the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying, which is stacked with pro-euthanasia MP's and Senators,will offer any substantive changes.

Bill C-314, the Mental Health Protection Act, sponsored by the Hon. Ed Fast (CPC), was narrowly defeated by a vote of 167 to 150 at second reading in Parliament on Wednesday October 18, 2023.

The Bill C-314 vote indicated that the Parliament of Canada is divided on the issue of euthanasia for mental illness with EVERY Conservative, NDP and Green MP and 8 Liberal MPs voting YES.

Bill C-314 would have protected people who are living with mental illness from medical assistance in dying (euthanasia). The latest Angus Reid Institute survey indicates that only 28% of Canadians support euthanasia for mental illness while 82% of Canadians stated that mental health care should be improved before euthanasia for mental illness is considered. 

Many groups supported Bill C-314 including the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention and the Society of Canadian Psychiatry.

Levitz reported that the Bill C-314 vote indicated that the issue had changed in parliament with 8 Liberal MPs and every NDP MP voting YES on Bill C-314.

Hon. Ed Fast
The Hon. Ed Fast, sponsor of Bill C-314, stated in his press release:

“Conservatives will continue to fight for those who are left behind by this legislation, and we will not support the expansion of MAID to include mental illness,”

“Have we gone too far and too fast with Canada’s assisted suicide program? Will we evolve into a culture of death as the preferred option for those who suffer from mental illness or will we choose life?”
The Special Joint Committee will release their report on January 31, 2024




Canada will soon announce HOW
people who are suffering from 'mental illness'
might qualify under expanded MAiD
(Medical Assistance in Dying).

In the first year, 95% of the people who APPLY
under this new provision will be SUICIDAL.
The rate of people who kill themselves
for foolish reasons probably will not change.
But they will have this NEW WAY
to seek SOCIAL APPROVAL for their suicides.

Thus, from the very start,
the expanded right-to-die law
must specify HOW TO SEPARATE
Irrational Suicide from Voluntary Death.

When the safeguard-procedures
are explicitly included in the new law,
then everyone will know WHO QUALIFIES

will be applied to separate
deaths Canada approves
from deaths Canada DOES NOT approve?

Psychiatrists and psychologists
who are asked to approve death for 'mental illness'
will be asked to explain in terms everyone can understand
just WHY some people who want to die
will NOT have their death-wish approved
by the Canadian government.

And those who WILL BE APPROVED
will know months in advance
in order to be approved for MAiD
based on psychological problems alone.

Because the new law will have to say "NO"
to far more people than it grants a "YES",
this column will focus on

The following 16 ways to say NO
are divided into four groups.
---four for each characteristic of irrational suicide.









Read full details here:


Alex Schadenberg said...

James Park is a euthanasia lobby leader. He is also known for promoting death by dehydration.


And my deep thanks for allowing this presentation to remain.
All sides should be heard.
And MAiD for 'mental illness'
will be the most controversial issue Canada faces.

Deborah said...

The above post by James Park appears to be disingenuous. Quoted from the above link, the agenda is clearly to facilitate and NOT create safeguards to restrict and limit MAiD to the mentally ill:
"It might seem from the negative emphasis above that 'safeguards' exist mainly to PREVENT people from exercising their right-to-die. But the opposite is true: These activities were designed by an ADVOCATE of the right-to-die." Their words, not mine.
As a Provincial mental health clinician in BC with 20 years of experience I can say with confidence that it would be rare to find someone with suicidal ideation due to mental illness to NOT have their capacity for informed consent to be impaired. The vast majority of mental health diagnosies (which I was qualified to diagnose) indicate direct impacts on judgement and ability to objectively assess the quality and value of their lives. I have seen many clients previously dedicated to ending their lives change that assessment after receiving good mental health care. This is often due to not only a positive change to the quality of their lives, but in their ability to rationally assess and hold onto a sense of hope for a better future.
Ironically, our BC Mental Health Act required two professionals to sign off on protecting a patient from their suicidal intent due to mental illness, and now we have legislation requiring two professionals to approve state-assisted suicide for the same kind of person with mental illness.
How far down the slippery slope we have fallen!

Alex Schadenberg said...

I published James Park because he attached his name to his post. He wasn't rude or attacking anyone either.

R. Enns said...

The difference between "rational" and "irrational" request for Maid? Let me guess. If the person approving or denying the request perceives the applicant to have "low quality of life", i.e. having other disabilities or reached their "best-before" date, the request will be deemed rational. However, if the decision maker perceives the applicant's life to still have value, then the request will be deemed irrational. Who is rational in such situations? the decision maker or the applicant?

Catti said...

>"I published James Park because he attached his name to his post. He wasn't rude or attacking anyone either"

I beg to differ.
He uses derogatory and bigoted language to denigrate people who suffer from suicidal ideation.
He also makes derogatory generalizations about people with suicidal ideation, such as "foolish", "irrational", "not based in reality", "not well-planned" etc.
And, he couches his derogatory language in ALL CAPS which is equivalent to shouting and is in fact both rude and abusive.

As a person who has spent much of her life battling suicidal ideation (first attempt at 3 years old, numerous other attempts, 3 rounds of electroshock therapy which didn't work) I find his post highly offensive and bigoted towards the mentally ill. No wonder he's a supporter of state murder of the vulnerable who would otherwise choose to live.

I've learned to spot these cheerleaders for murder a mile away, after a recent battle with Dying with Dignity ghouls and their paid supporters on X.

Meghan said...

I have an idea, James. Just shut the heck up, stop attacking people with disabilities and find some other outlet for your fixation on death. Disabled Canadians and disabled people all over the world didn’t consent to have people like you use us like a condom in a death porn video.

Meghan said...

Yeah. Killing members of a disenfranchised people group because they are members of that group tends to be “controversial.” Who knew?

Meghan said...

As a person with disabilities and as a disability justice advocate, I personally experience James’ entire agenda as an attack, similar to a rape, a stabbing or police brutality. He wants to kill members of a group because we are members of that group. So, he’s a violent attacker, even if he executes his attack using nice, polite language.


Nothing in the original contribution says anything about people with disabilities. Rather 16 ways are offered to SEPARATE wise end-of-life decisions from foolish choices to end one's life. These can all be applied to any end-of-life situation, whether the patient has a 'mental illness' or any other specific factors that might affect decisions about how each life should end. Comments are welcome about any of the 16 specific methods for preventing unfortunate and unwise deaths.


Some readers of this thread have rightly questioned how the rationality of a life-ending decision might be evaluated. There are four specific safeguard-procedures discussed in section 2, each of which will help any patient-and-family to decide how rational it might be to choose death. Here again is the direct link to the whole column:

Meghan said...

Seriously, STFU. “Rationality” might seem like the be all and end all to you, but that’s a kind of sanism. Human beings are complex beings with needs, emotions, etc, with compelling interests other than whether a given decision is “rational.” Go take your “rationality” to a philosophy convention instead of making thought experiments out of disabled people’s lives.


Careful readers will note that the rationality of any end-of-life decision is not decided by a group of philosophers far away from the bedside. Rather, there are four specific groups of people WHO KNOW THE PATIENT who are asked about the possible rationality or irrationality of any choices near the end of life. For details, click the link given above for the whole column.

R. Enns said...

Those of us who have experienced ableism or some other form of prejudice know that people who appear to "KNOW THE PATIENT" may be the most prejudiced, may even have contributed to consciously or unconsciously coercing the person/PATIENT to "choose" euthanasia. Turning to others to speak for a disabled person is a key element in ableism. That is why disability organizations say, "Nothing about us without us." Truly "careful readers" will read between the lines of all these guidelines and see them for what they are: just another attempt to nudge us toward euthanasia. Guidelines like these disproportionately affect people with disabilities despite Mr. Park's disclaimers. This is directed at us.


Yes, there is always a chance that new end-of-life legislation might have adverse consequences for particular groups of people. For this reason, we should also be careful to include SAFEGUARD-PROCEDURES to protect us when we are near the end of our lives. PROTECTING VULNERABLE PATIENTS FROM DISCRIMINATION:

Meghan said...

Clearly the “safeguards” haven’t worked. You know that disenfranchised people will be harmed, and you don’t care. That’s pretty vile.

R. Enns said...

Safeguards? Didn't Bill C-14 claim to "SAFEGUARD" vulnerable people? That didn't even last until the ink was dry. Now you want us marginalized people to trust new promises of safeguards? I didn't trust the first promises and I was proven correct so I'm certainly not trusting any such promises now.


Yes, critics of safeguards have many valid objections to the ways they are applied.
Since the right-to-die is now law in Canada,
it would be useless to say prohibit all shortening of the process of dying.
There are 16 safeguards proposed here.
I once thought I would organize them
from the most effective to the least effective.
But I decided on a different way to organize them
---here according to WHO will apply each safeguard.

If YOUR view, which proposed safeguard would do the most good?
These safeguards each has a letter of the alphabet,
which makes it easy to refer to them.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Sorry James:

Safeguards for killing humans do not work.
Humans are complicated creatures. We fear for the future, we are affected by the influence of others, we become depressed and we experience loss of hope, meaning and purpose.

Offering death is not about freedom but rather abandonment.

Also, killing is killing.
We can describe it in anyway we want but it remains killing.

Giving the power over life and death decisions to doctors and nurses makes it impossible to control, especially as humans, some will happily become killers.

R. Enns said...

Safeguards are not laws or even rules. Interpretation can and does vary widely and wildly. How would you enforce any of your proposed safeguards? Who would be qualified to create and/or enforce them? How would you ensure that the safeguards, their creators and their enforcers are free of bias? Without enforcement where is the promised protection?


Yes, most critics of the right-to-die reject ALL proposed safeguards.
But here are some proposed safeguards that might be affirmed even by some readers of this thread: SAFEGUARDS EMBRACED BY CRITICS OF THE RIGHT-TO-DIE: Which of these (if any) would be useful in preventing unwanted and unwise deaths?

R. Enns said...

Those are lovely motherhood-and-apple-pie words but do you really believe that people rendered vulnerable by circumstances and current legislation will receive the kind of attention your 12 safeguards propose? legal, medical, clergy, advocates, etc.? Maybe privileged people deemed worthy of such attention but not those branded "disabled."

It is well documented that people with disabilities have always received lesser medical care than those deemed to be non-disabled. The majority of medical professionals perceive our lives to have less "quality" (whatever that means) than others. Check out (Lisa I. Iezzoni, lead author of the paper and a health care policy researcher at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital excerpts from )

My article clearly exposes the ableism in pandemic triage protocols and indeed in medicine.

I'm afraid I cannot share your unwavering, unquestioning belief in the power of safeguards to protect those most in need of protection. I prefer to rely on facts, research and experience.


All such doubts are valid.
How might any one of these proposed safeguards
be IMPROVED so that disabled people
can have the same rights as extended
to all Canadians?
Readers are especially referred to Safeguard R:

R. Enns said...

Improve safeguards? Eliminate bias and prejudice of all sorts but especially ableism. Pretty words do nothing to address the underlying problem. The current legislation specifically targets people with disabilities. How can any safeguards protect the very people in the crosshairs of current law?


Did you read Safeguard R?
What details of this safeguard might be improved
to protect people with disabilities?

R. Enns said...

Sir, you acknowledge my concerns. Yet your only response is to expect me to validate your safeguards (and by extension, euthanasia) by suggesting improvements. You fail to address the influences of power imbalances, bias among many other influences.

By passing Bill C-7, ignoring the pleading of more than 120 disability organizations, indigenous leaders and advocates, the government has already demonstrated that safeguards don’t work. Might makes right and in such settings the medical voice rules.

How would disability advocates who disagree with the prevailing authority figure be treated? In my experience, authority figures don’t take kindly to opposition from people they consider to be inferior. In medical settings I have experienced strong opposition when I simply tried to stand up for myself. I was immediately labelled “difficult.”

You say that these safeguards would give the same rights to disabled people as “all Canadians.” That suggests that everyone should have access to death on demand. Aren’t safeguards supposed to disallow such ready access? When disabled Canadians don’t enjoy equality in life, how does giving them access to euthanasia/MAiD give them the equality they have been denied before death?

R. Enns said...

I have read it. I refer you to my previous posts. Clearly you have not or cannot understand mine. I will not continue this circular conversation.


For readers who have not read Safeguard R,
this suggests a special committee of (disabled) people
who will protect the maker from any inferior medical treatment.
And if the person who sets up such a committee
never wants to exercise the right-to-die,
he or she should SAY SO in all relevant documents.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Safeguards are mean't to convince parliament and the media that we can safely kill people, but once legalized safeguards become a form of discrimination because they are not limiting death based on hard principles, but based on other reasons.

For instance, the terminal illness requirement becomes a hindrance to people with chronic conditions because they also have difficult medical conditions and there is no good reason to deny them death when a terminally ill person can be killed.

Safeguards are based on selling death not actually making killing "safe".


Yes, both sides want MEANINGFUL and EFFECTIVE safeguards.
These are not put into law to please the voters
or to please the lawmakers themselves.
But the safeguards exist to MAKE A DIFFERENCE AT THE BEDSIDE.

And each safeguard should have the capacity to say either YES or NO.

For example, a review by an institutional ethics committee
would be useless or meaningless if it were known in advance
that the ethics committee always decides one way or the other.

Here is that safeguard: