Major MAiD Reports

A number of significant reports have been produced over the years. Links are provided below:

 

Special Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, Of Life and Death – Final Report, 1995

Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on End-of-Life Decision Making, Report, November 2011

Quebec National Assembly Select Committee on Dying With Dignity, Report, March 2012

Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying, Final Report, November 2015

Federal Expert Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v. Canada, “Consultations on Physician-Assisted Dying: Summary of Results and Key Findings: Final Report”, December 2015

Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying, Medical Assistance in Dying: The Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying, December 2018

 

In December 2016, the government asked the Council of Canadian Academies to review three issues related to requests for medical assistance in dying:

  • requests by mature minors
  • advance requests
  • requests where mental illness is the sole underlying medical condition

An expert panel commissioned by the CCA conducted the review. It looked at the evidence available and released its results in December 2018. Given its limited mandate, it did not make recommendations on the policy issues it considered.

 

Mature minors

Currently, only adults over the age of 18 can have an assisted death. The expert panel reported on the state of knowledge about whether mature minors should also have access to MAiD and, if so, under what conditions. Mature minors are under the age of majority (18 or 19 depending on the province or territory) who can understand and appreciate the consequences of the decision in front of them.

Advance requests

Currently, people must be competent right before receiving an assisted death. The expert panel reported on the state of knowledge about whether people should also have access to an assisted death if they made a request for it before they lost capacity and, if so, under what conditions.

Mental illness is the sole underlying medical condition

As the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada confirmed, people whose mental illness is their only underlying medical condition are not prohibited from receiving an assisted death. If they meet the eligibility criteria, the law allows them access. However, many people whose only underlying medical condition is mental illness will not be seen as meeting the criteria. Most commonly, their “natural death” will not be seen as “reasonably foreseeable.” The expert panel reported on the state of knowledge relevant to whether:

  • to change the law to clearly exclude people whose only underlying condition is mental illness
  • to leave the law as it is, or
  • to change the law to give them greater access and, if so, under what conditions.

Webinars on the CCA reports are available here.

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