On February 24th, 2020, the federal government tabled Bill C-7, in response to a landmark court ruling in Quebec last fall. Following delays because of COVID-19 and the proroguing of government, the same legislation was re-tabled on October 5, 2020. This legislation, which DWDC is largely supportive of, proposes broadening the 2016 law on medical assistance in dying to include those whose death is not "reasonably foreseeable," and allowing for waiver of final consent.
Specifically, the amendments would:
- Permit assisted dying for those whose death is not reasonably foreseeable, by removing this criterion from the eligibility requirements;
- Make changes to the safeguards for those whose death is foreseeable, requiring only one independent witness, providing for the waiver of final consent and dropping the requirement for a 10-day reflection period;
- Add safeguards for those whose death is not reasonably foreseeable with which DWDC has expressed concerns;
- Add an explicit exclusion for patients with irremediable mental illness which DWDC believes is unconstitutional.
DWDC is pleased that changes beyond the requirements of the Truchon decision are proposed, taking into account the experiences of individuals like Audrey Parker. We continue to advocate for the federal government to launch the five-year parliamentary review of MAID legislation, which was originally scheduled to begin in June. Despite the amendments proposed in Bill C-7, Canada’s MAID law continues to exclude advance requests, and access to MAID for mature minors and those with mental illness, a situation DWDC believes is unconstitutional.
To read Bill C-7 in full, please click here.
Dying With Dignity Canada Resources
- Bill C-7 Senate Amendments
- Bill C-7: Myths And Facts
- Bill C-7 Information Package
- Dying With Dignity Canada Submission to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
- Dying With Dignity Canada Submission to the Submission to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs
- The government's technical briefing on the proposed changes to the law with details
- The results of the federal government's January 2020 consultation on MAID
- An infographic (pictured below) that highlights the proposed changes to Canada's assisted dying legislation
- The October 21, 2020 Charter Statement: Bill C-7: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying)
- Legislative Background: Bill C-7: Government of Canada’s Legislative Response to the Superior Court of Québec Truchon Decision
All materials produced by the federal government of Canada
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