Medical Assistance in Dying: Journey to Medical Self-Determination

Rose M. Carter, Q.C., Brandyn Rodgerson


In 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the laws criminalizing medical assistance in dying (MAID) in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General). In this article, the authors discuss the historical prohibition on MAID in Canada, the important change in the law represented by Carter, and Bill C-14, the federal government’s legislative response to the Supreme Court’s verdict. The authors explain the new MAID regime created by Bill C-14 and discuss the various issues raised by the new legislation, including the possibly unconstitutional exclusion of patients not suffering from terminal conditions, problems of certainty in determining when death is “reasonably foreseeable,” problems related to patients’ mental capacity, and the need for effective data collection.

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