Bill C7 amends MAiD legislation

Ashley Lane
May 5, 2021

The federal government made changes to the MAiD legislation which was amended under Bill C7. A two-track approach is now available depending on whether a person’s natural death was reasonably foreseeable or not.

The process for a natural death that is reasonably foreseeable is generally the same:

  • One independent witness (previously two) must make a written request for MAiD
  • Eligibility is determined by a doctor or nurse practitioner
  • Confirmation from a second doctor or nurse practitioner is required

However, there is no longer a 10 day waiting period between the request and when the procedure can occur. Additionally, patients who become incapable of consent between the time the request was made and the time the procedure was to take place, can still have the procedure. This is with consideration of written consent to the procedure even in the circumstance that they lose capacity in the meantime.

The process for a natural death that is not reasonably foreseeable is a new approach with different procedural safeguards:

  • After being informed of a grievous and irremediable medical condition, a patient makes a request for MAiD
  • One assessor must have expertise, or consult with someone who has the relevant expertise, in the condition that the patient is suffering from
  • A mandatory 90 day assessment period after which patients who are found eligible can receive MAiD is required 
  • The assessors or consultant must confirm the patient is in complete understanding of and seriously considers other alternatives to MAiD (counselling, disability supports, palliative care, etc.)
  • Patients must still be capable of providing consent at the time the request was made and the time the procedure was to take place

While currently under review, mental illness alone is not eligible for MAiD. 

For a complete breakdown of MAiD fee codes see our searchable database