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.
- 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
- Dying With Dignity Canada Remarks: Appearance Before the Standing Committee on Justice & Human Rights
- Allocutions de Mourir dans la Dignité Canada : Comparution devant le Comité permanent de la justice et des droits de la personne
All materials produced by the federal government of Canada
Click the image to access the original document
We are committed to ensuring that Canadians receive fair access to their constitutional right to make choices about how they may end their life. If you’d like to tell your Member of Parliament (MP) and Senators representing your province that you support this right, send a letter today.
Alternatively, if you’d like to learn more about requesting a meeting with your MP, click here.