I am writing in response to Melissa Stalman’s letter (Oct. 20) regarding a forum I held recently on Mental Illness and MAiD. Ms. Stalman admits that she was not at the meeting which is unfortunate. The forum focused strictly on Conservative MP Ed Fast’s Private Member’s Bill on Mental Illness (Bill 314).
In Canada, Medical Assistance in Dying (also known as euthanasia or assisted death), has been until recently confined to people facing imminent death. In 2021, the definition was expanded to people who were not facing certain death.
A committee on Medical Assistance in Dying called forth over 150 witnesses including doctors, psychologists, palliatives care directors, professors, and others. Experts were clear that MAiD for people with mental illness cannot be implemented safely. It is impossible to determine whether an individual’s mental illness will never respond to treatment. I know this to be true personally. In my early 20s, I went through a clinical depression from which I fully recovered.
Conservatives do not believe that MAiD is an acceptable solution to mental illness and psychological suffering. We want to put people back in control of their lives, enabling them to lead good and decent lives. This is why we will never give up on anyone and believe in the importance of mental health supports.
At the end of the day, MP Fast’s bill to reverse and rescind the inclusion of the mentally disabled within Canada’s MAiD regime was defeated by 167 votes to 150. Conservatives, the NDP, the Greens, and a few Liberal MPs voted to protect the mentally ill from this terrible expansion. Unfortunately, most Liberals and the Bloq Quebecois defeated this important legislation.
Conservatives will continue to defend those who are left behind by this legislation, and we will not support this expansion of MAID to include mental illness if we win the next election.
Marc Dalton, M.P. for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge