Statement on Alzheimer’s Awareness Month Dolly’s World is overseen by a Wisconsin matriarch with dementia who surrounds herself with dolls and lovingly cares for them. Just as her dolls need her, she also needs 24/7 care which her family provides by taking turns to stay with her and keeping the public aware of what goes
Mental Illness "Safeguards" Aren't Safe At All
Canada’s assisted suicide laws are soon to expand availability to patients with mental illnesses.
The article states, “Mental health advocates warn it is harder to predict the outcomes and treatments of mental illnesses, and a wish to die is often a symptom, but an expert panel earlier this year said existing eligibility criteria and safeguards in medically assisted dying legislation would be adequate.”
Yet already, Canada is removing the “safeguards” that existed in the first place. Originally, mental illness was not a qualifying reason to apply for assisted suicide, allegedly protecting those with this symptom of “a wish to die.” Now, though this symptom can distort the mind and tell a person lies about themselves, people with mental illnesses are told that the “safeguards” will be “adequate” to protect them when their symptoms are at their worst.
These laws would mean that someone suffering from severe depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, anorexia, or other mental illnesses could be euthanized by the very doctors who were, up to that point, providing suicide prevention care and services. Offering suicide prevention to some and suicide help to others, namely people with disabilities, is disparate impact, and with euthanasia and assisted suicide laws, it means death to the devalued group.
“Ellen Cohen, a coordinator advocate for the National Mental Health Inclusion Network, told committee members Canada needs laws to help patients, not hurt them. ‘I don’t believe there were any safeguards recommended,’ she said. She resigned from the federal government’s expert panel on MAID and mental illness in December 2021. She said there was no space to identify how vulnerable people could be protected.”
“The MPs argued there are ‘far too many unanswered questions’ on the subject, and nothing precludes the committee from revisiting whether assisted dying should be offered to this category of people at all. ‘Legislation of this nature needs to be guided by science, and not ideology,’ the Conservatives wrote in May, warning that an outcome that could ‘facilitate the deaths of Canadians who could have gotten better’ would be completely unacceptable.”
Psychiatrists Warn of Assisted Suicide for Mental Illness A recent article in the National Post discussed the differences that several Canadian psychiatrists have when discussing assisted suicide for those with mental illness. Several psychiatrists oppose extending Canada’s assisted suicide laws and the fact that they put vulnerable people at risk of deadly harm. Below is
Summary of Massachusetts Hearing Last Friday on October 20th, 2023 between 9:00 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., Massachusetts civil rights champions assembled and outnumbered assisted suicide proponents at the Massachusetts State House to ask Massachusetts legislators to once again vote “NO” to the dangerous and discriminatory public policy of assisted suicide. Notable testimony was provided by