Access to assisted dying by people with mental illnesses

By:  Louise Lee  Posted On:  Jul 15th, 2016

Here is Dr. Scott Kim, psychiatrist and bioethicist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), presenting his research on medical assisted death in patients with non-terminal conditions and psychiatric disorders in the Netherlands. The research adds empirical evidence to the debate about assisted dying, particularly concerning vulnerable persons or people with mental health issues.

Dr. Kim was the featured speaker at the Open Conversation about Assisted Dying, an event hosted by GIPPEC along with the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, in the wake of the Supreme Court of Canada ruling which decriminalized assisted dying.

The event set out to influence the debate and policy and had an audience made up of health professionals, bioethicists, legal professionals, as well as members of the judiciary, regulatory colleges, patient advocacy groups, the Ontario Consent and Capacity board, the media and academia.

The legislation, which passed on June 16, 2016, sanctions assisted dying only to patients with terminal conditions, barring people with mental health issues from accessing the service.

Also see “Who Determines Vulnerability – how excluding vulnerable persons in the assisted dying legislation may further marginalize them”


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