While we are still waiting on more specific legislation that will further outline who will be able to access PAD and how, at present individuals who are considered candidates must be those with "grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes intolerable suffering", which some worry may include those with severe forms of mental health issues.
Other experts advocate for such mental health patients and their right to access PAD, explaining that some patients have treatment-resistant forms of mental illness and continue to endure great suffering despite trying various treatment modalities. In addition, it is also noted that other countries who have legalized PAD, such as Belgium, do allow individuals with mental health issues to access assisted suicide and have encountered no issues of misuse.
"Schuklenk [a Queen's University professor of philosophy and the Ontario Research Chair in Bioethics] notes that more than 40 per cent of persons living with depression do not respond to treatment; at least, not for an extended period of time. And for those living with "treatment-resistant depression," the pain is as real as any other debilitating illness.
"It's very difficult for people to intuitively understand what suffering is involved in something that is not 'quote unquote' physiological. But the truth is, of course, anything that's happening in our bodies is physiological," Schuklenk said."
For the full article, click here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipegger-seeks-physician-assisted-death-for-depression-1.3424388