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Federal Government to Consult with Canadians on Physician-assisted Dying

On July 17, 2015, the Federal Government announced that it will:

…conduct consultations with medical authorities and with interveners in the Carter case to assist the federal government in formulating a legislative response to the Supreme Court’s decision. The panel will also consult Canadians, including interested stakeholders, through a public online consultation. The panel will then provide a final report to the Ministers of Justice and Health that outlines its findings and options for a legislative response for consideration by the federal government.

You can read more about the Panel here on the Government of Canada website.

One of the three panel members is Benoît Pelletier, an exceptionally accomplished lawyer and academic in Quebec. You can read Monsier Pelletier’s recent paper on the Carter decision in the Canadian Bar Association Elder Law Section’s website.

The media’s response to this Panel has been mixed. It is not immediately clear how meaningful consultations can on an issue as complex as physician-assisted suicide can be facilitated using interactive online tools. You can judge for yourself – the Panel has a website that permits you to sign up for notifications regarding these interactive online tools.

We look forward to reading the Panel’s Report to the Minister, which is due this Fall.

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