Bill C-7: Law Amendments Regarding Medical Assistance In Dying
Bill C-7, which first reached Parliament February 24, is an amendment to some clauses in Bill C-14.
Bill C-14 is a law that decriminalized medical assistance in dying (MAID) that was passed in June 2016. Bill C-14 allows MAID to be administered exclusively to patients with incurable conditions and reasonably foreseeable natural deaths. According to Canada.ca, individuals who request MAID must review all means of relieving their ailments before giving informed consent. They must include a written request witnessed and signed by two witnesses, confirmation of eligibility by two independent practitioners, permission for withdrawal of the request at any time, complete a 10 day reflection period after the request is signed, and give a final consent immediately before MAID is provided.
According to parl.ca/legisinfo, Bill C-7 will permit MAID to be administered to eligible individuals who have previously signed a written request; even with no foreseeable natural death, including individuals who have lost capacity to provide final consent, and specifies that individuals whose only condition is mental illness will not be eligible for MAID. The Bill will also change safeguards presented in C-14. C-7 will only require one independent witness to sign the patient's written request for MAID, and requires a minimum of 90 days between the day it is approved and the day it is provided. The Bill is currently in its second reading and has yet to receive Royal assent, which would finalize the passing of the Bill.