Insights into Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada

Insights into Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada

The consideration of medical assistance in dying is suitable. Last week after 3 years there has been recognition of ‘fundamental human right to be protected by our Charter of Rights’, as well as, Freedoms the right to have assisted dying. On 17th of June, 2016 the Parliament of Canada amended the Criminal Code for legalizing medical assistance in dying.

A small yet growing number of jurisdictions were joined by Canada that allows either helped suicide where the person who wants to end their life is assisted by someone else to do, such as prescription of medication that ends life, or voluntary euthanasia where the medication which causes a death of a patient is ministered by a practitioner. There is an allowance of assisted dying in the following countries: Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherland, Colombia, Australia, several states of the United States.

There is a lot of misunderstanding and distortion of medical assistance in dying. To be precise, in Canada, in order to be eligible a person must be a Canadian resident eligible for health services, should be competent mentally, must be at least 18 years old, t and have a serious and permanent medical condition, make a voluntary request for medical assistance in dying and give informed consent to medical assistance in dying.

In addition to this, the person must be at a point where death has become reasonably predictable. There is no requirement of a fatal or terminal condition. As well, they must be experiencing intolerable physical or mental suffering which cannot be relieved under conditions that are considered acceptable.

It is thought-provoking, and perhaps surprising, to see how many Canadians have requested medical assistance in dying; more than 3,700 or about 1 percent of Canadian deaths since 2016. With our aging population, one may anticipate a rise in the number.