Medical assistance to die: extension to minors is under debate in Canada

Publié le 28 Jan, 2016

The Ottawa Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying was heard by MPs on Tuesday evening.  This group published its report in December.Their “worrying” perspective is that “medically assisted dying should not only be offered to adults but should be available to every patient capable of giving his/her informed consent, regardless of age”.

Based on the medical decisions model, Jennifer Gibson, Joint Group Chairperson, put forward the argument that, “regardless of the definition of an adult, the option to request medical assistance to die should be based on a person’s decision-making capacity as opposed to age”.

 

MPs have divided views on the subject.  Some believe that the last Supreme Court decision “prohibited Parliament from extending access to minors”.  Others, on the contrary, would like “Parliament to go beyond this decree, “before disputes are brought to courts by people claiming access to medically assisted dying in the name of equality”.

Le Devoir (27/01/2016)

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