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Canada delays euthanasia for mentally ill until 2027

By Agence France-Presse Published Feb 02, 2024 8:57 am

Trigger warning: This article contains mentions of suicide.

Canada delayed until 2027 an expansion of its euthanasia laws that would make mentally ill patients eligible, saying more time was needed to prepare the health system.

Doctor-assisted suicide for the terminally ill was approved in 2016 in Canada, with the legislation due to be expanded this year to permit mentally ill patients to request euthanasia.

But Ottawa has repeatedly delayed its rollout, which is now scheduled after the next federal elections.

Health Minister Mark Holland announced the extension, saying it would allow for "a parliamentary review to assess the state of readiness of the system."

He said all 13 provinces and territories, which are responsible for health care in Canada, reported they were not yet ready.

A committee report last month said many practitioners were concerned about distinguishing requests for euthanasia from suicide attempts, and about "protecting the most vulnerable in our society."

Nearly 45,000 Canadians received an assisted death between 2016 and 2022. (AFP)

If you think you, your friend, or your family member is considering self-harm or suicide, you may call the National Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 1553 (Luzon-wide, landline toll-free), 0966-351-4518 or 0917-899-USAP (8727) for Globe/TM users, or 0908-639-2672 for Smart users.