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Ontario Government Seeking Your Input on Legislation for Doctor-Assisted Dying and End-of-Life Decisions

The Ontario government is seeking to learn more about people’s views on physician-assisted dying and end-of-life care decisions, in order to inform its legislative drafting. As readers will be aware, in February 2015, the Supreme Court, in Carter v. Canada, read down the federal law prohibiting physician-assisted dying. That judgment is set to take effect on February 6, 2016. The Court postponed the effect of its judgment for one year to allow governments to consider the development of new laws and practices.

To that end, the Ontario government has set up a survey for members of the public to complete. In it, people are asked to provide their opinions on various aspects of end-of-life care, what informs those opinions, and the extent to which (and with whom) they have or are comfortable expressing their views. The goal of the survey, as stated, is to “ensure that any future laws or policies meet the needs of people, respect personal wishes and support death with dignity.”

The survey takes about 15-20 minutes to complete, and is available here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/doctor-assisted-dying-and-end-life-decisions-consultation.

For those so inclined, there is also the possibility of attending public consultations, being held in various locations throughout the month of January. The Toronto consultation will take place at 6:00 p.m. on January 11 at the Chelsea Hotel. Registration is required. Registration information, and a full schedule of public consultations throughout the province, are available on the same page as the survey link: https://www.ontario.ca/page/doctor-assisted-dying-and-end-life-decisions-consultation.

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