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

Is MAiD (medical assistance in dying) legal in Canada?

Who decides when to stop medical treatment that could keep a patient alive?

What is an advance directive? And how can I use one to make sure my wishes about medical care will be followed even when I can no longer speak for myself?

On this website we look at these and other questions about law, policy, and practice in Canada. We want to help the public, the media, health care providers, and policy-makers to understand their rights and responsibilities in relation to how people die. This website is not intended to serve as legal advice. The content is intended as information only.

This website tells you about options for intentionally ending life legally in Canada, including MAiD.

It explains the legal status of voluntary stopping eating and drinking (VSED) and voluntary stopping personal care (VSPeC).

It tells you about end-of-life care, including the withholding and withdrawal of potentially life-sustaining treatment. It also talks about some palliative care practices such as giving potentially life-shortening drugs and palliative sedation.

It tells you how to use advance directives to make sure that your wishes are followed when you can no longer make decisions for yourself or communicate your wishes. These wishes can be about health care decisions like what medical treatment you would accept or refuse and personal care decisions like where you would like to live.

Finally, it offers links to related sites with other useful information about end-of-life law and policy in Canada.

Jocelyn Downie is responsible for the site. She is Professor Emeritus in the Faculties of Law and Medicine at Dalhousie University.

Nicole Watkins Campbell provided extraordinary plain language editing for the site.

This website is generously supported by the Dalhousie University Health Justice Institute.

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