What You Need to Know About the Changes to the MAiD Legislation

Federal legislation was passed in 2016 that allows eligible Canadian adults to request medical assistance in dying. Changes to this MAiD legislation were made in March of 2021. These changes were made to continue to protect those who may be vulnerable and to continue to provide freedom of choice to Canadians.

Changes to the MAiD legislation include revisions to the eligibility criteria, the safeguards and consent, as well as data collection and monitoring. The legislation no longer requires for a person’s natural death to be reasonably foreseeable as an eligibility criterion for MAiD. A review will take place to determine the eligibility of others that may not fall within the currently listed criteria of MAiD, including those with mental illnesses and mature minors. Changes were also made to the procedural safeguards of the legislation, as well as changes to the final consent requirements. This is to ensure that there is sufficient time and expertise spent assessing the MAiD requests from persons whose natural death is not reasonably foreseeable and includes the easing of some safeguard for those whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable. The final changes are regarding the data collection and monitoring portion of the MAiD legislation and include revisions to extend data collection and reporting to provide a more comprehensive picture of how the legislation is being implemented in Canada.

For more information on the revised legislation, a more in-depth explanation is provided in the Medical Assistance in Dying Nursing Practice Update. Information specific to MAiD in Saskatchewan can be found on the Saskatchewan Health Authority website and additional resources related to the legislation itself can be found on the Government of Canada website.

If you have questions about these updates, please contact an CRNS Practice Advisor by phone at 1.800.667.9945 or 306.359.4227 or by email practiceadvice@crns.ca.

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