Find an independent witness for medical assistance in dying

Federal law requires a person's assisted dying request to be signed by one independent witness. DWDC may be able to connect you with a trained volunteer who can fulfill this requirement.

Please note that DWDC's Witnessing Program is doing our best to adapt to the changing circumstances due to COVID-19. We are currently managing requests on a case-by-case basis while adhering to public health guidelines and different provincial policies on telewitnessing. Please contact Samantha Shier at [email protected] or call 1-800-495-6156 ext. 40 to see if telewitnessing is available in your province, or to discuss alternative options.

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Canadian law states that all patients requesting MAID must put their request in writing and that their formal request must be signed by one independent witness.

According to Bill C-7:

Any person who is at least 18 years of age and who understands the nature of the request for medical assistance in dying may act as an independent witness, except if they:

(a) know or believe that they are a beneficiary under the will of the person making the request, or a recipient, in any other way, of a financial or other material benefit resulting from that person’s death;
(b) are an owner or operator of any health care facility at which the person making the request is being treated or any facility in which that person resides;
(c) are an unpaid caregiver

For clarity, Bill C-7, which received Royal Assent on March 17, 2021, permits a person’s assisted dying request to be signed by one independent witness rather than two

Since 2016, Dying With Dignity Canada’s trained volunteers have served as independent witnesses in more than 2,000 MAID cases. 

If you need help finding witnesses, or if you would like general information about Dying With Dignity Canada’s (DWDC) Independent Witness Program, please email Samantha Shier at [email protected] or call 1-800-495-6156 ext. 40.

Volunteer as an independent witness for medical assistance in dying


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