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

Call for Input

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. Specifically, the Expert Panel is looking for organizations to describe the key issues they have regarding MAID in the three areas under study: advance requests, requests by mature minors, and requests where mental illness is the sole underlying medical condition. Additionally, the Expert Panel would like organizations to submit, or provide links to, any knowledge that they would like to have considered. This could be a recently published article or a position paper of the organization, for example.

The Expert Panel will not be making policy or other recommendations. It also will not be recommending changes to the current legislation or seeking views and opinions on the topic of MAID more generally.

Should your organization wish to provide input to the Expert Panel, please complete the Call for Input form by September 22, 2017. Submission instructions can be found at the bottom of the form. Questions can be sent to reviews@scienceadvice.ca.

New Chair of the Working Group on Advance Requests

Dr. Jennifer Gibson, Sun Life Financial Chair in Bioethics and Director of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, has been appointed by the CCA's Board of Governors to Chair the Working Group on Advance Requests. Dr. Gibson is also Associate Professor of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation and Clinical Public Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto. Dr. Gibson replaces Dr. Harvey Schipper, who stepped down as Chair of the Working Group in May.

Work of the Expert Panel to Date

The Working Groups on Advance Requests and Mature Minors met in person on July 9-10 and 12-13 respectively. The Working Group on Mental Illness is expected to meet on August 14-15. At this point in the process, the Working Groups are reviewing existing evidence and identifying where additional evidence or information needs to be collected. The Working Groups are also in the process of finalizing the outlines for each of the three reports.

The Expert Panel will be conducting its work over the next year, and will publicly release its reports 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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