Mental Illness is not a Terminal Diagnosis

Canada announced a delay in the implementation of assisted suicide for people with mental health disabilities. Since this delay, many proponents of and advocates against these laws have spoken up about this decision.

Mr. Ashley Geddes wrote an article in the Alberta Times covering some of the reactions to the delay.

One of the most significant points was made by a nursing professor, Donna Wilson:

“‘Mental illness isn’t one illness,’ said Wilson, adding, ‘There are about 100 of them.’ Deciding who should qualify for a MAID request–and when–is a hugely complex issue that will require considerable time to sort out, Wilson believes. ‘They are going to have to decide, who do they say ‘yes’ to and who do they say ‘no’ to,’ said Wilson. ‘What do you do with someone who could live 10 years, 20 years, 30 years?’”

One might be experiencing anorexia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, or a form of depression. As with many mental illnesses, a patient may feel as though they want to end their lives, but this may be a symptom of the mental health disability they are experiencing. Desire for suicide is often fleeting and can be a cry for help.  With access to excellent mental health care, many with mental disabilities no longer wish to die.  It is abominable that the very physicians who are supposed to be treating the patient and preventing suicide in legal states here in America are helping young people with lethal mental health disabilities like anorexia to die by suicide. 

Assisted suicide laws sends a message to patients with disabilities, both physical and mental health, that their lives are not worth living when they may already be struggling with thoughts of suicide. That’s not “healthcare,” it’s eugenics.

Matt Vallière in the LA Times

Matt Vallière in the Los Angeles Times Thanks to the LA Times for sharing Matt’s letter, which strongly opposes assisted suicide laws. Read his letter to the editor below: Steve Lopez asks, “Will the option [of assisted suicide] be there for others?” To plaintiffs in the referenced lawsuit and many in the disability, older adult

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