Experts report on mature minors, mentally ill, anticipated requests for assisted death



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OTTAWA – A report released Wednesday said that experts examining the question of whether Canada should allow people with mental disorders to die with medical care can not agree on what evidence would be relevant to help in making a decision.

The federal government had requested panel reports from independent experts on three of the thorny issues that were not resolved when it legalized medical care upon dying.

Reports from workgroups created by the Board of Canadian Academies examine whether assisted death should be available to mature minors, people suffering from mental disorders only, and those who make early requests before losing mental capacity.

The government specifically instructed the council not to make recommendations on any of the three issues.

As a result, the reports simply summarize the "state of knowledge" on the issues and examine the pros and cons of extending the right to an assisted death for each group.

Some members of the working group on people with mental disorders believed that allowing assisted death could reduce the stigma of mental illness, demonstrating that it deserves to be treated as seriously as physical illness; others believed it could increase stigma, suggesting that life with a mental illness is not worth living.

The Canadian Press

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