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David Lametti believes medical assistance in dying should be expanded now

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press Former Minister of Justice David Lametti, during a press briefing on June 13

The Canadian Press in Ottawa

12:28 p.m.

  • Canada

Former federal Justice Minister David Lametti would not be afraid to immediately expand eligibility for medical assistance in dying to people suffering from mental illness.

Mr. Lametti had a law adopted last winter, at the last minute, in Parliament which postponed for a year the change planned for March 17, 2023.

Access to medical assistance in dying should therefore be extended on March 17 to people “whose only medical problem is mental illness”.

But current Justice Minister Arif Virani, who succeeded Mr Lametti, and Health Minister Mark Holland have both said they are awaiting a Commons committee's report on the issue before to decide whether another delay was necessary in this matter.

Montreal MP Lametti, who announced Thursday his departure from political life after being excluded from cabinet last summer, says the one-year postponement made it possible to do the work necessary to ensure that provinces and health professionals are prepared to manage this change.

Mr. Lametti admits that it is now up to current federal ministers to decide what happens next. But in his opinion, there would be no problem in moving forward with enlargement now.

“It will be a very minimal number of people who will have access to medical assistance in dying in such circumstances,” he explained Thursday evening in an interview with The Canadian Press. So, I wouldn't be afraid to proceed.

“I am quite confident in our doctors, but obviously — this is my personal opinion — I would not like to see people suffer when they have tried everything and nothing works, during years. If they are capable of making that decision, I sincerely believe — this is my personal opinion — that they should have the right to do so at some point. »

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116