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CAMH Stories Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Catalytic Conversation on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)

TORONTO, February 14, 2017 - On Wednesday, February 8th, CAMH and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law co-hosted a timely Catalytic Conversation about something that is currently being contemplated, discussed and debated by many: whether Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) should ever be made available to people suffering from stand-alone mental illness.

Last year, the federal government committed to further study complex issues that were not addressed in Bill C-14 – the legislation that now allows eligible adults suffering irremediably from terminal illnesses to request MAiD under specific circumstances. The independent review by the Canadian Council of Academics will consider MAiD where mental illness is the sole underlying condition. The review will be tabled in Parliament and available to the public by December 2018.

CAMH’s own Dr. Tarek Rajji, Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry, participated on the four person Catalytic Conversation panel that was moderated by Paul Kennedy from the CBC radio program Ideas.

The other panelists were:

  • Dr. Scott Kim - Senior Investigator in the Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health
  • Kevin Reel - Bioethicist, Toronto Community Care Access Centre
  • Dr. Trudo Lemmens - Professor, University of Toronto Faculty of Law


You can watch a recording of the discussion here:


This was one discussion in a series of CAMH conversations on this topic. A subsequent conversation to hear the voices of mental health services users was held on June 5th, 2017.

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