Government considering delay of MAiD for mental illness

18 December 2023

Justice Minister Virani said the government is “weighing its options” including a pause on MAiD for mental illness alone, in a media interview last week.

He referred to an upcoming report by a parliamentary committee on MAiD and the testimony of experts and stakeholders, and said, “We'll evaluate all of that comprehensively to make a decision whether we move ahead on March 17, or whether we pause.”

If nothing changes, people with mental illness as their only medical condition will be eligible for euthanasia on March 17, 2024. The justice minister’s comments give hope that the government may put in place another delay.

We are so grateful to everyone who has reached out to their MP over the last several months. Your engagement does make a difference!

Here is the time frame of what’s ahead:

  • The House of Commons resumes on Jan. 29, 2024.
  • The parliamentary committee report is due by Jan. 31, 2024.
  • The law allowing MAiD for mental illness will take effect on March 17, 2024, if nothing changes.

The justice minister’s comments could be a trial balloon to see if there is public support for a delay or it could be a way of sharing news of a change in plans gradually.

From now until the end of January, MPs will be in their ridings. This would be a great time to ask your local MP to support a delay of MAiD for mental illness.

For EFC resources on speaking to your MP about MAiD, see