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Federal Government Proposes Changes to Medical Assistance in Dying – Bill C-7

By October 6, 2020 October 13th, 2020 No Comments

The Government of Canada has reintroduced proposed changes to Canada’s Criminal Code provisions on MAID. The amendments respond to the Superior Court of Quebec’s September 2019 Truchon decision by expanding eligibility for MAID to individuals whose death is not reasonably foreseeable. .

  • The reintroduced Bill proposes to:
    • remove the requirement for a person’s natural death to be reasonably foreseeable in order to be eligible for MAID
    • Introduce a two-track approach to procedural safeguards based on whether or not a person’s natural death is reasonably foreseeable
    • Existing safeguards will be maintained and certain ones will be eased for eligible persons whose death is reasonably foreseeable
    • New and modified safeguards will be introduced for eligible persons whose death is not reasonably foreseeable
    • Exclude eligibility for individuals suffering solely from mental illness
    • 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
    • Expand data collection through the federal monitoring regime to provide a more complete picture of MAID in Canada

Background:

  • In January and February 2020, the Government of Canada engaged with provinces, territories, Canadians, Indigenous groups, key stakeholders, experts, and practitioners to receive their feedback on expanding Canada’s MAID framework.
  • Over 300,000 Canadians participated in the online public consultations between January 13 and 27, 2020.
  • Ministers Lametti, Hajdu and Qualtrough, and their Parliamentary Secretaries, also met with stakeholders, experts, practitioners, and Indigenous groups to consult them directly on revising Canada’s federal MAID legislation.