Consultations on Physician-Assisted Dying - Summary of Results and Key Findings


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The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H8

The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
Health Canada
70 Colombine Driveway, Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Dear Minister Wilson-Raybould and Minister Philpott:

We are pleased to provide you with a copy of our report summarizing the results and key findings of our consultations in fulfillment of the mandate of the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v. Canada. We thank you for the confidence that you placed in us and for the opportunity to serve such an important cause.

With great deference to the Supreme Court of Canada and for the supremacy of Parliament to ultimately decide how Canada will respond to this historic ruling, our goal was to bring the results of our work to the minds of Parliamentarians. We support your efforts to make Canada not only a better country to live in, but a better country to die in. From the outset we set about to enrich the debate around physician-assisted dying. We tried to stay true to our task by listening well and listening from a position of empathic neutrality.

We would like you to know that our meetings across Canada and internationally have been rich in content, respectful in tone, and broad-reaching in consequence. Our hope is simply that the insight we received over the course of our work is reflected in our report.

Following your consideration, it is our expressed desire that this report will be made publicly available in the same spirit of transparency and openness that interveners, stakeholders and indeed Canadians greeted us.

We will gather as a Panel for a final time on December 17, 2015. Our objective for that meeting is twofold. Firstly, we want to assure a smooth and formal transfer of all materials to government and, secondly, to identify the key steps required for ceasing Panel operations.

Any mistakes and oversight in the following pages are our own. We offer our report with hope that it is useful to you and your Parliamentary colleagues as you undertake the next crucial stage of this conversation. We remain grateful for the rich experience and for the honour it has been to serve.


Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov, O.C., O.M., M.D., Ph.D., FRCPC, FRSC,

Professor Catherine Frazee, O.C., D.Litt., LL.D.,
Panel Member

Professor Benoît Pelletier, O.Q., FRSC, Ad. E., LL.D., LL.D., LL.D. (hon.),
Panel Member

cc: Stephen Mihorean, Executive Director, Secretariat to the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v. Canada.