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Ontario proposes medical assistance in dying legislation

As discussed in previous blogs, medical assistance in dying (“MAID”) is legal in Canada for eligible individuals. But despite MAID now being legal, the law continues to evolve.

Earlier this year the federal government amended the Criminal Code of Canada, but each province is entitled to create its own laws with respect to some aspects of MAID.

On December 7, 2016 the Ontario government introduced Bill 84, Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016 to fill some gaps that were outside Parliament’s authority to legislate. The proposed changes are as follows:

  • Currently in Ontario certain deaths must be reported to the coroner.  Bill 84 would amend the Coroners Act to state that the coroner must be notified of all MAID deaths, but the coroner could then decide whether or not to investigate.
  • Bill 84 would provide greater protection to health professionals involved with MAID with respect to liability and privacy.
  • There is currently a concern that insurance companies will not pay out a life insurance policy if the insured person takes his or her own life. Bill 84 would make it illegal to use MAID as a reason to deny coverage.

 

UPDATE: On May 10, 2017, the Bill was passed and became law.

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