Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) Questionnaire
MAID Questionnaire - Deadline to participate is January 27, 2020
On September 11, 2019, the Superior Court of Québec found (Truchon v. Attorney General of Canada) that it was unconstitutional to limit access to MAID to people nearing the end of life. The case was brought by two persons living with disabilities, Mr. Truchon, who has lived with cerebral palsy since birth, and Ms. Gladu, who has lived with paralysis and severe scoliosis as a result of poliomyelitis. Practitioners who assessed them were of the view that they met all eligibility criteria for MAID, with the exception of nearing the end of life. The Court declared the “reasonable foreseeability of natural death” criterion in the federal Criminal Code, as well as the “end-of-life” criterion in Quebec’s provincial law on medical assistance in dying, to be unconstitutional.
The Court’s ruling will come into effect on March 11, 2020, unless an extension is granted by the Court. While this ruling only applies in the province of Quebec, the Government of Canada has accepted the ruling and has committed to changing the MAID law for the whole country.
Since MAID has been legalized, more than 6,700 Canadians who were suffering unbearably chose to die peacefully with the help of a physician or nurse practitioner. Over the past four years, our health care systems have become more familiar and comfortable with providing MAID, and Canadians have also learned a lot about circumstances where MAID is not allowed.
As the Government of Canada prepares to launch the full review of the MAID law this summer, it is moving quickly in the shorter term to help inform our response to the recent Quebec court ruling. Updating Canada’s MAID law will expand eligibility for MAID beyond people who are nearing the end of life, and could possibly result in other changes once the review is complete. This questionnaire offers Canadians the opportunity to share their views with the Government of Canada on this deeply personal and very important issue.
This consultation closes on Monday, January 27, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. (PST).