Welcome to the End-of-Life Law and Policy in Canada website.

  • Are living wills legally binding documents?  Do health care providers have to follow the wishes of family members of dying incompetent patients?
  • Who decides when to stop potentially life sustaining treatment?  Can patients or their substitute decision-makers demand that treatment be stopped?  That it be continued? Can patients or their substitute decision-makers refuse oral or artificial hydration and nutrition.
  • Is it legal for a health care provider to give ever-increasing doses of pain medication to alleviate a patient’s suffering even though this may shorten the patient’s life?
  • Is it legal for a healthcare provider to provide a patient with deep and continuous sedation combined with the withholding of artificial hydration and nutrition?
  • Is assisted suicide legal?
  • Is euthanasia legal?

On this website, we look at these and other questions about end-of-life law and policy in Canada.  There’s information about the withholding and withdrawal of potentially life-sustaining treatmentadvance directives, palliative interventions (e.g., potentially life-shortening symptom relief and palliative sedation)assisted suicide, and euthanasia.  There are explanations of the law on various aspects of end-of-life care, answers to common questions, and links to related sites with other useful information.

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