Bill C-14 Medical assistance in dying - adopted

Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts was adopted on June 17, 2016.

Under the new federal law, only a person meeting the following five criteria will receive medical assistance to die:

  1. the person must be eligible for health services funded in Canada;
  2. must be aged at least 18 years of age and capable of making decisions about their health;
  3. the person must have a grievous and irremediable medical condition;
  4. must make a voluntary request without external pressure;
  5. must give informed consent to receive medical assistance in dying.

Moreover, a person is affected by a grievous and irremediable condition medical condition within the meaning of the federal law, if it meets all the following criteria:

  1. the person has a serious and incurable illness, disease or disability;
  2. they are in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability;
  3. the illness, disease or disability or that state of decline causes them enduring physical or psychological suffering that is intolerable to them and that cannot be relieved under conditions that they consider acceptable;
  4. their natural death has become reasonably foreseeable, taking into account all of their medical circumstances, without a prognosis necessarily having been made as to the specific length of time that they have remaining.

Note also, among other safeguards, the general rule of the 10-day waiting period between the request and the provision of medical assistance to die, except in certain circumstances, applies.