CLHIA Position on Medical Assistance in DyingRelease Date: 11/01/2016 Staff Reference: Craig Anderson
CLHIA Position on Medical Assistance in Dying
Following the Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Carter case in which it was decided that the law should permit physician assisted suicide, the federal government passed An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying), S.C. 2016, c.3. (the "Act") which provides for the legalization of medical assistance in dying ("MAID"). The Act permits MAID to be provided to consenting adults who are suffering from a grievous and irremediable medical condition as defined. Several provinces have also passed legislation in this area. In this context the industry adopted a position on MAID as set out in the reference document.
The industry's position is that member companies would not treat deaths resulting from MAID as a "suicide" for policy purposes provided the legislated process has been followed. Other defences (such as misrepresentation or other exclusions) would remain open. As it will be important to be aware of the underlying cause of death in the circumstances, we continue to recommend to provincial governments that they implement requirements that the underlying cause of death be recorded on death certificates issued in the circumstances of a MAID death...