Government of Canada releases second Interim Report on Medical Assistance in Dying

News Release

Report provides update on first year of implementation of medically assisted dying in Canada

October 6, 2017
Ottawa, ON
Health Canada

The passage of the legislation on Medical Assistance in Dying in June 2016 was an important step in providing access to a full range of options at the end of life, including the choice of a medically assisted death for eligible Canadians. Today’s release of the Second Interim Report on Medical Assistance in Dying represents the Government’s commitment to ensuring Canadians are kept informed on how the legislation is being implemented across the country.

The first federal update was released on April 26, 2017, and covered the first six months of implementation of the new federal legislation on assisted dying, from June 17 to December 31, 2016. This second update provides information on requests for, and cases of, medical assistance in dying between January 1 and June 30, 2017.

Across the country, there were 1,179, medically assisted deaths between January 1 and June 30, 2017. This accounts for approximately 0.9% of all deaths nationally, up from 0.6% in the first reporting cycle. While this represents a 46.8% increase from the first six months that the legislation was in place the overall numbers remain consistent with international experience. Of these deaths, cancer* was once again the most frequent underlying medical condition, cited in 63% of all cases.

Health Canada will continue to release interim reports on medical assistance in dying using available data until the Government finalizes regulations for a permanent monitoring system. These finalized regulations are expected in 2018. Later this year, the Government will publish draft regulations for consultation in Canada Gazette Part I. These draft regulations will be open to comments from the public and stakeholders. The federal monitoring system will ensure that high-quality, comparable Canadian data about medical assistance in dying is consistently collected and reported.

The Second Interim Report on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada and general information on end-of-life care can be found on

*Does not include the province of Quebec.


“I am pleased with the ongoing collaboration demonstrated by federal, provincial and territorial officials in producing these reports. It exemplifies the continued commitment of all governments to a rigorous and transparent process for this complex and sensitive issue.”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

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Yves-Alexandre Comeau
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

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