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Ontario passes assisted dying Bill

This week, Ontario legislature passed assisted dying Bill 84. The Bill was voted in the third reading, with MPPs voting 48 to 39 in favour. The bill makes several changes to how medical assistance in dying is managed in the province of Ontario, Canada.


The passage is a “mixed blessing” for the implementation of assisted dying in the province of Ontario, DWD Canada says. The bill contains changes to the provincial freedom-of-information laws that will make it more difficult for residents and human-rights organizations to monitor the implementation of medical assistance in dying in the province. Bill 84 shields public bodies from having to produce records related to assisted dying that identify healthcare facilities.


In Canada, the Criminal Code is created by the national legislature. Health-care regulations are left to the provinces and territories. Federal legislation, which passed in June 2016, guides how medical assistance in dying can be provided. The province’s proposed Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act aligns with the federal medical assistance in dying legislation and would address areas that fall under provincial legislation.


Where and how Canadians can get medical assistance in dying is therefore determined by provinces and territories, as well as the organizations that regulate health professionals and medical institutions. Provinces and territories may create additional health-related laws or rules as long as they do not conflict with what is in the criminal law.


If these rules are within provincial power, they may address health and other aspects of medical assistance in dying, such as the use of specific forms to fill out, special medical training for providers of the service, how information and data on the service are provided, rules or requirements for either type of medical assistance in dying. For example, in Quebec, physician administered assisted dying is the only form available.


To see the current state of the Ontarion Bill 84 (in English), click here.