(LifeSiteNews) – Top Canadian psychiatrists warned that the country is “not ready” for the coming expansion of euthanasia to those who are mentally ill, saying expanding the procedure is not something “society should be doing” as it could lead to deaths under a “false pretence.”
As noted in a recent National Post opinion piece, seven of 17 chairs of psychiatry have written to Canadian Health Minister Mark Holland and Justice Minister Arif Virani to demand that the federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pause the expansion of medical assistance in dying (MAiD) as it is known.
On March 9, 2024, euthanasia in Canada, or MAiD as it is known, will expand to include those suffering solely from mental illness. This is a result of the 2021 passage of Bill C-7, which also allowed the chronically ill – not just the terminally ill – to qualify for so-called doctor-assisted death.
The mental illness expansion was originally set to take effect in March. However, after massive pushback from pro-life groups, conservative politicians and others, the Liberals under Trudeau delayed the introduction of the full effect of Bill C-7 until 2024 via Bill C-39, which becomes law next year.
Dr. Sonu Gaind, who works as the chief of psychiatry at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, said that history shows when it comes to enacting new laws relating to sensitive life matters, “The evidence shows that we are right less than half the time.”
Proponents of MAiD have argued that there comes a point in time when a mentally ill individual is simply not curable. However, Gaind said that the notion of “incurability” might not even be possible.
Gaind said that as the evidence shows being wrong half the time, “That means that at least half the people who assessors say, ‘You’re not going to get better from your mental illness, and you can get MAID,’ at least half of those people would have gotten better.”
“Meaning, we would have provided death under a false pretence,” he added.
Gaind said there seems to be “no consensus on this issue,” and said he “firmly” thinks “we’re not ready for further expansion.”
As it stands now, a special joint parliamentary committee on MAID has reconvened to investigate the looming expansion of MAiD to the mentally ill.
Recently, LifeSiteNews reported on how pro-euthanasia lobbyists want Canada’s assisted suicide via lethal injection laws to be extended to drug addicts, which critics warn could lead the nation down a dangerous path nearing “eugenics.”
The delay in expanding MAiD until 2024 also came after numerous public scandals, including the surfacing of reports that Canadian veterans were being offered the fatal procedure by workers at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).
Offering MAiD to the mentally ill is not something ‘society should be doing,’ psychiatrist says
Dr. Jitender Sareen, head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba, said that when it comes to MAiD, there is too much left in the hands of those who do the procedure.
“Offering people death instead of appropriate treatments” is something that “really goes against what we as a society should be doing,” Sareen said as per the National Post.
Sareen also said there is no guidance as to whether a doctor can determine whether a person is suicidal or simply wants to kill themselves via MAiD.
Recent attempts by the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) to stop the expansion of MAiD have failed.
MPs in the House of Commons voted down a private members’ bill introduced by CPC MP Ed Fast that would have repealed the expansion of euthanasia laws to those suffering from mental illness.
Pro-life advocates, such as Angelina Ireland, president of the Delta Hospice Society (DHS), have warned the Trudeau government expansion of MAiD to those who are mentally ill will lead to allowing “MAiD allows agents of the state to kill us and it’s actually called ‘non-culpable homicide.’”
Ireland recently told LifeSiteNews that it was important she made clear to participants who attended to “speak to some inconvenient truths” about just how bad MAiD is for Canada.
“There is no avenue for us to ‘sue’ them (the government) or charge them with murder. We have abdicated our power and given the government the supreme authority — the right and the privilege to murder us,” Ireland said to LifeSiteNews, which she also told the event participants.
Euthanasia deaths have gone through the roof in Canada since it became legal in 2016.
According to Health Canada, in 2022, 13,241 Canadians died by MAiD lethal injection, which is 4.1% of all deaths in the country for that year, and a 31.2% increase from 2021.
The number of Canadians killed by lethal injection since 2016 now stands at 44,958.