Medical Assistance in Dying 1

Judicial activism, a ‘reasonably foreseeable’ death, the unacceptability of suffering, and reasons to stay alive

Since 2016, Canada has offered assisted suicide through its public healthcare system. And the criteria for Medical Assistance in Dying has steadily expanded year on year, and will soon include not just those suffering from terminal conditions, but also those experience mental illness too. This week we speak with a Christian psychiatrist from Canada who has been involved in both the campaigning against the spread of euthanasia, and also figuring out on the ground how to care well for patients in a system which offers them the chance to take their own lives instead of receiving treatment. In particular, what can we in other countries yet to introduce such laws learn from the Canadian experience of sliding down the infamous slippery slope since 2016?

We briefly discussed Canadian euthanasia in a previous episode in 2021 about assisted dying, which you can listen to here.

(Correction: Our guest on a few occasions accidentally says the expansion of MAiD to those with mental illnesses was due in 2022, when it was in fact originally scheduled to begin in March 2023, although it has now been delayed again.)

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