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Manitoba, Saskatchewan raise concerns about expanding eligibility for assisted dying

OTTAWA — The governments of Manitoba and Saskatchewan say they are concerned about the risks of expanding eligibility for medical assistance in dying to people suffering only from a mental illness. 

Federal Health Minister Mark Holland recently said he’s hearing concerns about readiness from provinces before the change takes effect in March.

Ottawa already passed legislation to delay the expansion once and the federal government will soon have to decide whether to do that again. 

Liberal ministers say they are waiting for advice from a parliamentary committee that held hearings last fall about whether Canada is ready for the expansion. 

Medical providers say they are ready, guidelines have been developed and advocates argue people with mental illness should be able to access the same care as those with debilitating physical conditions.

Manitoba’s government says it wants more consultation on whether safeguards are in place to protect vulnerable people, and Saskatchewan says it is concerned about the speed and scope of the expansion.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2024.

The Canadian Press


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