Medical assistance in dying (MAID)

On April 14th, the Government introduced proposed legislation, An Act to amend the Criminal code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying) (MAID) (Bill C-14). The amendments would allow an eligible person to request medical assistance in dying. 

Under this proposed legislation a person who wants medical assistance in dying would have to: 

  • Be in a state of irreversible decline in capability and death must be reasonably foreseeable. 
  • Generally eligible for health services funded by a government in Canada. 
  • Be 18 years of age and capable of making health decisions. 
  • Make a voluntary request and not one as a result of external pressure and give informed consent. 

It also provides for additional safeguards to ensure proper consent and the ability to withdraw consent at any time prior. 

Provincial legislation in this area is expected to address the treatment of MAID under insurance contracts. Of note, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) stated to provincial officials that, provided persons follow the legislated process in seeking MAID, the CLHIA anticipates that in most instances it would be treated as a normal death for insurance purposes. 

We’ll continue to follow this legislation and keep you informed as more information becomes available.