Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) for Mental Illness could result in many Canadians dying unnecessarily

TORONTO, Nov. 24, 2022 /CNW/ – Recently approved amendments on Bill C-7 requires physicians to inform patients about all available options that may assist the patients before approving Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) for these patients. However, the bill has a flaw; it does not mention all available options that may help patients considering MAID.  

Including PGX testing into safeguards of Bill C-7 may prevent the loss of many Canadians considered as irremediable

The Bill allows patients that are deemed to have irremediable mental illness condition to choose to end their lives, providing that two medical professionals deem these patients to have irremediable conditions.

After long discussions and many expert opinions, assisted death was approved to be used for mental illnesses effective March 17, 2023.  

It is a fact that about 30% of mental illness patients experience challenges with treatment, they often try multiple medication over months or years without success. That leads to increased severity of the illness and eventually leads some to irremediability.

However, there are novel options that are fast proving very effective for treatment-resistant patients that are not yet the standard of care. These options are helping many patients that were thought of as irremediable. The Act fails to mention them. 

One of the novel options is pharmacogenomic testing. It can identify the most suitable medication for patients that were thought of as treatment resistant or irremediable. The other option is ketamine treatment, which has proven to help patients deemed to be treatment resistant and irremediable.

Unfortunately, most physicians have not kept up to date with these novel resources. Specifically, we are concerned that most doctors might not consider the above new strategies when informing their patients of options that may help with remendability of their condition. 

Pharmacogenomic testing and ketamine treatment must be included into the safeguards before determining whether a person has an incurable illness. It would be a tragedy if some Canadians choose MAID while pharmacogenomics testing or Ketamine treatment might have remediated their condition.

About Personalized Prescribing Inc.
A Toronto-based Canadian pharmacogenomics testing company, specialized in mental health-related conditions. Provides polygenetic, pathway-level gene testing lead by expert psychopharmacists. Exclusive provider of Manulife, RBC Insurance and Equitable Life, and many disability managers dealing with patients facing mental health-related disability. To learn more, go to

SOURCE Personalized Prescribing (EXT 264)

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) for Mental Illness could result in many Canadians dying unnecessarily WeeklyReviewer

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