Draft Provincial/Territorial Legislation to Implement a Regulatory Framework for Medically-Assisted Dying Consistent with Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) 2015 SCC 5 and the Final Report of the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-

Jocelyn Downie

Abstract


On February 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously declared that the Criminal Code prohibitions on physician-assisted dying (both assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia) violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They immediately suspended the declaration for 12 months thus allowing the government time to craft new legislation. This paper is a contribution to the project of meeting that deadline -- it presents draft provincial/territorial legislation. This draft legislation is based on: 1) a thorough review of existing legislation in all permissive regimes throughout the world (reviewed through a "lessons learned" lens); 2) the requirements for constitutional validity set out by the Supreme Court of Canada in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General); 3) the Final Report of the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying; and 4) other relevant case law. Specifically, medically-assisted dying includes both assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia. Access is limited to assistance provided to individuals who have a grievous condition (including illness, disease or disability) that cannot be alleviated by means acceptable to the person and causes enduring physical or psychological suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition. Assisted dying is only permitted with the free and informed consent of the individual. The rights and interests of patients and health care providers are reconcile rights to and interests in both access and conscience. Procedural safeguards and a national oversight system are established.

Keywords


SCC Cases; Legislation; Health Law

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