(November 2020). The Parliament of Canada is currently reviewing Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying). Parts of the proposed Bill have significant implications for palliative care and despite the very tight timelines involved, the CSPCP has been actively working to provide input accordingly.
The first step in the parliamentary process was review by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. The CSPCP submitted a written brief (English; French). We were subsequently invited to give a 5-minute presentation to the Committee and to participate in a question period. CSPCP President Dr. Anne Boyle and CSPCP Member Dr. Harvey Chochinov represented the CSPCP. They focused on the evidence in the literature that addressed the Government’s proposed changes to the law. (View proceedings here. CSPCP presented at 12:25:45)
The second step was review by the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. The CSPCP submitted a written brief (same as the one above). CSPCP Past-President Dr. Leonie Herx gave a 5-minute presentation and participated in the question period that followed. Dr. Herx summarized the CSPCP’s concerns and recommendations for safeguards to minimize harm. View her presentation here. (Full proceedings here: SenVu (parl.gc.ca)).
The first federal Annual Report on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada (2019) was released on July 24, 2020.
If you have questions about the report, please contact the End-of-Life Care Unit in Health Canada: email@example.com
(Nov 27, 2019) The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) and the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP) released a joint statement and call to action regarding the ongoing confusion amongst the general public about Palliative Care and Medical Assistance in Dying.
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This statement has been endorsed by international palliative care organizations, including the International Association of Hospice Palliative Care (IAHPC) and the World Hospice Palliative Care Association (WHPCA). It has also been endorsed by the founder of palliative care in Canada, Dr. Balfour Mount, and internationally well-respected palliative care physicians such as Dr. Eduardo Bruera. You can read Dr. Mount’s message here.
If you and/or your organization would like to endorse this statement, you may do so here: Endorsement submission form
(May 17, 2019) The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians released an updated document today entitled Key Messages: Palliative Care and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). MAiD became legal in Canada in June 2016 when the Parliament of Canada passed federal legislation allowing eligible Canadian adults to request it. Prior to the legislation, the CSPCP developed Key Messages about Physician Hastened Death which were released in October 2015. The updated Key Messages reaffirm our original position and frame it in the current Canadian context.