UPDATE: Assisted Death ‘Rules’ Tabled Today

Only competent adults eligible

Apr. 14, 2:08pm – The Federal Government has laid out all the conditions for someone to seek medically-assisted suicide. Bill C-44 was tabled at the House of Commons today, it contains five specific guidelines that need to be met before a patient can lawfully end their life. They are:

1. The patient must be 18 years or older, and deemed “competent”
2. The patient must have a “grievous and irremediable medical condition” defined as having all the following elements:
• A “serious and incurable illness, disease or disability” and -be in an advanced state of “irreversible decline in capabilities;”
• Enduring physical or psychological suffering, caused by the medical condition, that is intolerable to the person, and cannot be relieved.
• Natural death must be “reasonable foreseeable” however it doesn’t have to be imminent, said justice officials who provided a background briefing on the bill.
3. The patient must make a voluntary request
4. The patient must provide “informed consent” to a medical assistance to end their life,
5. The patient must be covered under provincial health insurance plans – a move to prevent a “medical death tourism” industry from cropping up.

Apr. 14, 6:36am – The federal government is expected to announce today the conditions under which someone can seek an assisted death. It is likely only competent adults will be eligible, not those with degenerative or competence-eroding conditions such as dementia. So- called mature minors, under the age of 18, are also not likely to be eligible – though they may be considered in future. It has been a year since the Supreme Court struck down Canada’s ban on assisted death.