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Canadian Bill C-7 signed into law

At March 18, Bill C-7 received Royal Assent and became law. Earlier that week the bill passed rapidly the House of Commons and the Senate. With all these last steps, Canada has succeeded to meet the March 26, 2021 deadline set by the Quebec Superior Court in the Truchon decision. Canadians without a reasonably foreseeable death will now be eligible to apply for medical assistance in dying.

At March 11, Bill C-7 passed through the House of Commons with strong support in a final vote of 180 to 149. The House passed the bill as amended by the government, in response to the Senate’s recommendations. At March 17, the bill passed Canada’s Senate by a vote of 60-25.

What does this mean?
  • Canadians no longer must have a reasonably foreseeable death in order to be eligible for medical assistance in dying;
  • There are now two sets of safeguards in place: One for those whose death is reasonably foreseeable, and one for those who death is not reasonably foreseeable;
  • Canadians who have been assessed and approved for medical assistance in dying, but risk losing capacity to consent prior to the MAID procedure, will be able to sign a waiver of final consent;
  • During the two-year mental illness exclusion, the Government of Canada will hear from experts and develop safeguards and protocols for people who seek access to MAID, but whose sole underlying medical condition is a mental illness. 
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