Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

David Lametti believes that medical assistance in dying should be expanded now

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Medical assistance in dying could be extended in March to people whose medical problem is mental illness. (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

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

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

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

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David Lametti was a law professor at McGill before running as a Liberal MP in 2015, during Justin Trudeau's first election.

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 guarantee that provinces and health professionals are ready to manage this change.

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

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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'm pretty confident in our doctors, but obviously – that's my personal opinion – I wouldn't like to see people suffer when they have tried everything and nothing works, for years, he added. If they are capable of making that decision, I truly believe – this is my personal opinion – that they should have the right to do so at some point.

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