Testimony on Psychiatric PAD before the Canadian Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs

The Canadian Parliament is debating a bill regulating physician aid in dying.  The deadline is early June 2016. On May 11, 2016, I testified before the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, focusing on the policy aspects of psychiatric physician aid in dying.

I was one of three witnesses in the session.

Navigational guide:  My testimony begins at approximately 16:38 with a personal statement. Most of the hour is taken up by a Dr. Derryk Smith, a psychiatrist from Dignity in Dying Canada.  He is a forceful advocate of making available medically induced death to persons suffering from psychiatric disorders.

I provide a counterbalance to some of the assertions made by Smith in a closing set of comments at 17:26.

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How worrisome is the ‘therapeutic misconception’?

For those interested in the debate over the therapeutic misconception, Paul Appelbaum wrote a critical commentary of our recent paper in Journal of Medical Ethics.  We published a response to his commentary here.  It is not easy to find our response at the journal’s website so we hope the above links will help the reader in evaluating the exchange.

The published exchange provides a glimpse into the very different ways in which people have approached this widely discussed phenomenon in research ethics.