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Medical Assistance in Dying

In February 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that it would be legal for a physician to assist a person to die if the person suffered from an irremediable medical condition resulting in grievous and intolerable pain. This will become law in Canada either in February 2016, or later if the Federal government is granted an extension to pass laws governing the practice.

A person suffering so badly that he or she wishes to die will now have that assistance from a physician — if doctors are prepared to assist and if the person meets an uncertain test of qualification. Our firm is fortunate to have one of Canada’s experts on the legal aspects of dying as Counsel. Mark Handelman has litigated more ‘end of life’ cases than any Canadian lawyer. He holds a masters Degree in bioethics and has also written on both withdrawing/withholding life-sustaining treatments and physician-assisted death. Whatever laws are eventually created to govern this process, our firm can assist your family through this difficult decision with empathy and dignity.

Resources:

WEL Blog: Federal Government to Consult with Canadians on Physician-assisted Dying

WEL Blog: A response to Carter? Doctors seek injunction in respect of new CPSO Policy

WEL Blog: Case Commentary: Carter v Canada Attorney General

WEL Blog: Mark Handelman and Dr. Gordon published in Health Law in Canada

This overview is intended for the purposes of providing information only and is to be used only for the purposes of guidance. This information is not intended to be relied upon as the giving of legal advice and does not purport to be exhaustive. Whaley Estate Litigation.

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