More than seven in ten Canadians agree the country has set the right policies in allowing adults to seek medical assistance in dying (MAID), a new study says.
Seventy-three per cent of Canadians surveyed are in favour of MAID practices under current federal guidelines, according to a Research. Co study released on Friday.
The latest figure is down three points in comparison to a similar Research Co. study in Jan. 2021.
The current federal guidelines include MAID being funded by federal health services, being at least 18 years of age or mentally competent, having a “grievous and irremediable medical condition,” making a voluntary request that is not a result of outside influence or pressure and giving informed consent to be medically assisted in death.
Fifty-eight per cent of respondents think MAID should be allowed under specific circumstances, while 20 per cent believe it should always be allowed regardless of who requests it. Meanwhile, 12 per cent believe MAID should never be permitted, a one per cent increase from the 2021 poll.
Ontarians are 46 per cent satisfied with Canada’s existing guidelines for medical assistance in dying, and the same percentage of residents were satisfied in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
READ MORE: Many Canadians do not support mental illness in medically assisted dying expansion: study
People from Quebec agree at 53 per cent, followed by people from British Columbia at 52 per cent, those from Atlantic Canada at 44 per cent and 40 per cent out of Alberta.
MAID is currently only available to adults with grievous and irremediable medical conditions, according to the study.
In response to the other four guidelines, 51 per cent of Canadians feel adults should be able to seek medical assistance in dying because of an inability to receive medical treatment or due to a disability at 50 per cent.
Twenty-eight per cent agree the guidelines should expand to include homelessness and 27 per cent think poverty should be included as reasons to seek MAID.
The study shows Canadians are split when deciding whether mental illness should be a justification for an adult to seek medical assistance in dying. Forty-three per cent support this idea, while 45 per cent are opposed.
A final decision for MAID eligibility related to mental illness has been delayed by the federal government until March 2024.
This online study’s results were conducted from Apr. 22 to 24, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.