Medical assistance in dying | Provinces call for pause on enlargement

(Ottawa) Most provinces and territories have signed a letter asking the federal government to indefinitely suspend its plan to expand eligibility for medical assistance in dying.

A parliamentary committee indicated Monday that the health system was not ready for the medical assistance in dying regime to include people whose only condition is mental illness.

The expansion was due to come into effect in March, but federal Health Minister Mark Holland and Justice Minister Arif Virani said they planned to delay it.

The health and mental health ministers of the three territories, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick and British Columbia asked Minister Holland in a letter on Monday to give them more time to collaborate.

Ministers from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island feel better prepared for the changes, but have agreed to support their colleagues.

Federal Conservatives are calling on the Liberals to completely cancel the expansion plans.

source site-60