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Challenging the Quebec End-of-Life Legislation and Medically-Assisted Dying in Truchon

In Truchon c. Attorney General of Canada, 2019 QCCS 3792 (CanLII), a decision of the Quebec Superior Court, The Honourable Christine Baudouin, JCS held that the end of life requirement under section 26 of Quebec’s End-of-Life Care Act and the “reasonable foreseeability of natural death” requirement under the Criminal Code‘s medically-assisted death requirement are both unconstitutional as contravening section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (and that the federal provision contravenes section 7; she did not consider whether the Quebec provision contavened section 7). The facts underpinning the challenges were the same. Nevertheless, should the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Thoughts on Advanced Directives for Assisted Dying

The enactment of Canada’s medically assisted dying legislation in June 2017 left three areas in particular outstanding: whether mature minors could seek a medically assisted death, whether medically assisted death would be available when the reason for seeking it is mental illness and whether an individual could provide for an advance directive for a medically assisted death when they were no longer able to consent.

Here I make some remarks about advance directives, using the report from the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), which had been given the responsibility by the government to gather information about the three issues (the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Maybe Bill C-7 Meets the Letter of the Law, but Does It Meet the Spirit?

The federal government has now introduced changes to its legislation on medical assistance in dying (MAiD) in response to the Truchon decision. The existing Criminal Code provisions, enacted after the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Carter, had been criticised on several grounds, particularly in requiring death to be “reasonably foreseeable” before someone is eligible for medical assistance in dying. The 2019 Quebec Superior Court decision in Truchon held that the foreseeability requirement in the Criminal Code and the parallel Quebec provision in that province’s End-of-Life Care Act are unconstitutional. The government’s Bill C-7 is in response to Truchon . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Religion and the Law: “Respect” or Denial?

In Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the Ontario Court of Appeal sought to reconcile the religious views of doctors opposed to carrying out certain procedures with the rights of patients to equitable access to those procedures and to the public interest. Under Bill 21, the Quebec government seeks to deny the wearing of certain “religious” clothing in the interests of preserving a secular society. A comparison of these two situations help to illustrate how private religious beliefs might play out in the public sphere. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

College of Midwives of BC v. MaryMoon

On my way to writing a post applying the UK Supreme Court’s decision on the Boris Johnson prorogation to the City of Toronto decision upholding the province’s reduction of wards, I decided to take a detour to examine the College of Midwives of British Columbia v. MaryMoon in which Madam Justice Sharma held that section 12.1(1) of the BC Health Professions Act (HPA) is unconstitutional because it contravenes section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms without justification. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Looking Ahead…if Only!

I never make “New Year’s resolutions” — I’m too old to think that they will come to fruition — but I have decided to identify five “wishes’ I have for Ontario and Canada more broadly in 2019: 1. stop all the studies and take action re A2J; 2. provide lessons to the premier about what the rule of law means; 3. allow advance directives for medically assisted deaths; 4. don’t diminish existing protection for children and youth; 5. revise the new Law Society of Ontario logo without too much delay. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Thursday Thinkpiece: Downie on Pathways to Law Reform for Voluntary Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Permitting Voluntary Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Law Reform Pathways for Common Law Jurisdictions

Jocelyn Downie, SJD, FRSC, FCAHS; Professor, Faculties of Law and Medicine, Dalhousie University
Queensland University of Technology Law Review Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 84-112

Excerpt: Introduction and Sections III-VI | Footnotes omitted. They can be found in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece