Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) Updates

Medical assistance in dying (MAID) is an option that has been legal in Canada since 2016. There are specific situations in which a person can apply for a medically assisted death, and the federal government has recently re-introduced proposed changes to the legislation to reduce some of the barriers that have been identified.

In January we posted the Federal Government’s request for public consultation into changes, which has now been distilled into a report. The proposed changes reflect the report:

The Bill reflects emerging societal consensus and was informed by views and concerns raised by Canadians, experts, practitioners, stakeholders, Indigenous groups, as well as provinces and territories during the public consultations undertaken in January and February 2020 . It is also informed by the past four years of experience with MAID in Canada.”

The reintroduced Bill proposes to:

  1. remove the requirement for a person’s natural death to be reasonably foreseeable in order to be eligible for MAID
  2. introduce a two-track approach to procedural safeguards based on whether or not a person’s natural death is reasonably foreseeable
    1. existing safeguards will be maintained and certain ones will be eased for eligible persons whose death is reasonably foreseeable
    2. new and modified safeguards will be introduced for eligible persons whose death is not reasonably foreseeable
  3. exclude eligibility for individuals suffering solely from mental illness
  4. allow the waiver of final consent for eligible persons whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable and who may lose capacity to consent before MAID can be provided
  5. expand data collection through the federal monitoring regime to provide a more complete picture of MAID in Canada.

See Government of Canada reintroduces proposed changes to medical assistance in dying legislation from the Department of Justice to read full News Release.

We will keep members updated as these changes are discussed and processed.

For more information on medical assistance in dying in Canada, visit Dying with Dignity.





Questions? Feedback? Get in touch! Janet Madsen, Capacity Building  and Knowledge Translation Coordinator, [email protected]