In Carter v. Canada (2015), the Supreme Court of Canada agreed that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives Canadians a right—in some circumstances—to choose a physician-assisted death. MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying) is now permitted in Canada, following the passage of Bill C-14 in June 2016. However, the legislation includes three controversial exclusions: MAID for mature minors, advance requests for MAID, and MAID when mental illness is the sole underlying condition.
The public response to MAID remains divided. The federal government has asked the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA)to prepare an independent review of MAID, with a specific focus on the three exclusions, to be released in late 2018. We will review the philosophical, religious, legal, medical, and ethical concerns surrounding suicide, euthanasia, and assisted dying—from antiquity to the present—that inform Canada’s legal and legislative decisions on these issues, and critically evaluate the complex dilemmas central to this ongoing debate.
Note: Back by popular demand, from spring 2017.
A $62 discount will be applied automatically for adults 55+.