Medical Assistance in Dying

In December 2016, the CCA was asked by Minister of Health Jane Philpott and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould to undertake independent reviews related to medical assistance in dying. Specifically, the CCA is tasked with examining three particularly complex types of requests for medical assistance in dying that were identified for further review and study in the legislation passed by Parliament in 2016. These cases are: requests by mature minors, advance requests, and requests where mental illness is the sole underlying medical condition. 

Progress Report

The Working Groups on Advance Requests and Mature Minors met in person on July 9 to 10 and 12 to 13, 2017 respectively. The Working Group on Mental Illness met on August 14 to 15, 2017. At this point in the process, the Working Groups continue to review the existing evidence and identify where additional evidence or information needs to be collected. To inform its deliberations, the Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) is seeking input in writing from groups and organizations affected by, or involved in, MAID from across Canada via a Call for Input. The closing date for submissions is October 6, 2017.
 
The Working Groups are also in the process of completing first drafts of each of the three reports. The next full panel meeting will take place in November.

The Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) met November 21 to 22, 2017 for its third panel meeting. The Working Groups reviewed and discussed the initial drafting of evidence for their respective review areas, and in plenary, discussed the submissions received via the Call for Input. The next panel meeting will take place February 21 to 22, 2018 at which time the panel will be reviewing and further developing the revised draft reports prior to peer review which will take place in spring 2018. Reports are on track to be publicly released towards the end of 2018.

The Questions

Main Question:

  • What is the available evidence on, and how does it inform our understanding of, medical assistance in dying (MAID) in the case of mature minors, advance requests, and where mental illness is the sole underlying medical condition, given the clinical, legal, cultural, ethical, and historical context in Canada?

The general sub-questions and topic area questions can be found here.

Expert Panel

The Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying is comprised of 44 individuals who have expertise, knowledge, and leadership experience in many disciplines including law, medicine, ethics, social sciences, and health sciences, among others. The Expert Panel is chaired by the Honourable Marie Deschamps, C.C., Ad. E., Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and Adjunct Professor, McGill University and Université de Sherbrooke. 

In order to effectively address the three types of requests for medical assistance in dying, the Expert Panel has been divided into three working groups, each with a Chair.

For a complete list of panel members visit the Expert Panel page.

For questions about these reviews:

reviews@scienceadvice.ca

All media requests may be directed to:

Samantha Rae Ayoub, Communications and Publishing Director at 613-567-5000 ext. 256 or
samantha.rae@scienceadvice.ca

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