Medical Assistance in Dying – January and February 2020 Consultations

This online consultation process closed on January 27, 2020 and is no longer open for input.

Thank you to the nearly 300,000 Canadians who participated in this consultation. A summary report on the results of the public consultations will be made available once the received feedback has been analyzed.

Consultations on medical assistance in dying (MAID) eligibility criteria and request process

Medical assistance in dying (MAID) became legal in Canada in June 2016. Canada’s Criminal Code now exempts doctors and nurse practitioners who provide, or help to provide, medical assistance in dying.

Medical assistance in dying” currently includes:

  • the use of medication by a physician or nurse practitioner to directly cause a person’s death at their request
  • the prescription or provision of medication by a physician or nurse practitioner that a person can use to cause their own death

The law currently sets out eligibility criteria for those who wish to apply for MAID. It also sets out safeguards that doctors and nurse practitioners must follow when deciding if a patient qualifies for MAID, in particular to make sure that the patient requesting MAID is fully informed and has given their consent freely.

Visit the Government of Canada’s medical assistance in dying webpage for more information on:

  • Eligibility criteria
  • Process for obtaining MAID
  • Roles of the provinces and territories
  • How Health Canada monitors and reports on MAID
  • Independent reviews
  • How Health Canada supports palliative and end-of-life care

Evolution of MAID in Canada

During the development and implementation of MAID (Bill C-14) in 2016, many Canadians voiced their support for broader access to MAID. As a result, the Government of Canada committed to study a wider variety of medical circumstances where a person may want to access MAID.

Specifically, the Government of Canada asked the Council of Canadian Academies to study three complex issues including requests for MAID by mature minors, advance requests, and requests for people where mental illness is the only reason for requesting MAID. The reports and a summary are available on the CCA’s website.

As legalizing medical assistance in dying was a significant step for Canada, Parliament committed to reviewing the law five years after it was passed. This review would allow for further public and parliamentary debate on all aspects of medical assistance in dying in Canada.

January and February 2020 Consultations

The consultations held in January and February 2020 were an important step in responding to Quebec’s court ruling, and are part of the Government’s progressive approach to ensuring that the federal framework on MAID continues to be informed by the evolving views and needs of Canadians.

During these consultations, over 300,000 Canadians completed the online questionnaire. The high level of engagement demonstrates the importance of this deeply personal issue for many.

During the months of January and February 2020, the federal government also consulted directly with experts, practitioners, Indigenous groups, stakeholders, and provinces and territories.

Ministers Lametti, Hajdu and Qualtrough, as well as Parliamentary Secretaries Virani and Fisher, met with stakeholders in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Québec City to discuss Canada’s medical assistance in dying framework.

This consultation is now closed. A summary report on the results of the public consultations will be made available once the received feedback has been analyzed.

Date modified: