Medical assistance in dying: Independent reviews

Find out about Parliamentary and expert reviews commissioned on medical assistance in dying, and access reports.

Eligibility for MAID for persons suffering solely from a mental illness has been delayed until March 17, 2027.

In collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, Health Canada has begun a multi-pillar engagement process on MAID, supporting both Indigenous-led engagement and federally-led activities, including an online engagement tool that is open until June 30, 2024. Learn more:

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There have been several reviews on topics related to medical assistance in dying. Some of these were required by MAID legislation. These reviews have been conducted by special parliamentary committees and by independent expert groups commissioned by the Government of Canada.

Parliamentary reviews

Special joint parliamentary committees have been appointed to conduct specific reviews focused on issues of public importance related to medical assistance in dying.

Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying

In April 2021, Parliament established a Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying (also known as AMAD) made up of Members of Parliament and the Senate. The Committee reviewed the law's provisions and application, as well as important related topics, such as:

On June 22, 2022, the Committee released an interim report on medical assistance in dying and mental disorders. The Government of Canada issued a response in October 2022.

The Committee's second report was tabled in Parliament on February 15, 2023. The Government of Canada issued a response to this second report in June 2023.

In October 2023, the Committee was given the task of undertaking a study on Canada's readiness prior to the law expanding in March 2024 to allow MAID requests for mental disorders. On January 29, 2024, the Committee released a third report laying out its recommendations about the degree of preparedness in Canada for the safe application of MAID for these requests. The Government of Canada tabled its response to this third report in Parliament on May 28, 2024.

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Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying

After the February 2015 Supreme Court of Canada decision in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), a special joint committee was established to:

The Committee produced a report with 21 recommendations.

Medical Assistance in Dying: A patient-centred approach – final report (February 25, 2016)

Expert reviews

Expert reviews provide independent advice and recommendations on important topics.

Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Illness

As part of the changes made to the legal framework for medical assistance in dying in 2021, the Government of Canada was required to establish the Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Illness.

The panel was asked to make recommendations on protocols, guidance and safeguards to apply to requests for medical assistance in dying by persons who have a mental illness in preparation for such time that eligibility is expanded to this group. This work will help ensure that practitioners can:

The panel's final report was tabled in Parliament on May 13, 2022. Their recommendations will help to develop guidance and resources for safely providing access to MAID for persons with a mental illness.

Currently, mental illness as the sole underlying medical condition is not an eligible condition for MAID. Eligibility for MAID for persons suffering solely from a mental illness has been delayed until March 17, 2027.

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Council of Canadian Academies reviews

On December 13, 2016, the Government of Canada asked the Council of Canadian Academies to review specific types of requests for medical assistance in dying. These issues were brought up for debate when legislation on medical assistance in dying was being considered by Parliament.

The issues included:

The Council reviewed evidence including:

On December 12, 2018, the Council released 3 final reports. These reports do not include recommendations, but continue to help foster an informed, evidence-based dialogue between the public and decision-makers.

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