Medical Assistance in Dying
Federal legislation governing medical assistance in dying (MAiD) came into effect on June 17, 2016.
Read the Nidus fact sheet on MAiD
The first step for British Columbians who want to request medical assistance in dying is to speak with your family physician—you will need to meet the criteria of the legislation. The physician can also discuss alternatives with you. Each health authority has someone designated to help. Your physician will have the contact for your health authority. The medications used for medical assistance in dying are covered for patients. Check back for more details as we learn more about the required forms and procedures.
Nidus reviewed some of the forms for MAiD produced for BC physicians. Click to read our feedback on BC forms for MAiD.
The final version of the federal legislation is at Bill C-14 (Royal Ascent). This Bill amends/changes the Criminal Code of Canada to allow for MAiD.
See the Canada Health website for information on Medical Assistance in Dying.
For background on this issue and the law, see these Ask Joanne posts:
- August 22, 2016 – Do I qualify for medical assistance in dying? How do I request it?
- June 17, 2016 – Canada’s Law for Medical Assistance in Dying
- June 6, 2016 – What is the status of physician assisted dying in Canada?
- February 11, 2015 – Supreme Court Decision (Carter v. Canada): Physician Assisted Death/Suicide
On June 27, 2016, BC Civil Liberties Association issued a press release to notify the media/public that the BCCLA and Julia Lamb of Chilliwack BC filed a lawsuit to challenge the federal legislation on medical assistance in dying. The challenge suggests the new federal legislation is too restrictive—they suggest it will not apply as broadly as the Supreme Court of Canada intended in its ruling on Carter v. Canada. Read the Notice of Claim that outlines the remedy they are seeking (in Part 2).
The BCCLA court challenge does not prevent anyone from requesting medical assistance in dying. Our June 6 post has guidelines from the College of Physicians and Surgeons and other resources.