Liberal government seeking delay to expanding medically assisted dying program

By The Canadian Press

The Liberal government is seeking to delay the expansion of Canada’s assisted-dying regime to include people whose sole underlying conditions are mental disorders.

Justice Minister David Lametti says the government has heard from experts who are concerned that the health-care system might not be prepared to handle those complicated cases.

Canada’s medical assistance in dying legislation excludes those whose sole underlying condition is a mental disorder until March 2023.

An expert panel studying the issue has heard concerns from clinicians, researchers and academics who questioned whether the proper safeguards are in place to expand the eligibility criteria.

The Liberals will need to amend legislation to extend the ban and Lametti says they will seek support from other parties in the House of Commons to pass the bill.

The House of Commons and Senate have adjourned for the holidays and are expected to resume sitting at the end of January.

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