Bill C-7 to expand Medical Assistance in Dying

05 October 2020
URGENT FEB. 2021: This bill on euthanasia is moving quickly through Parliament. It expands the euthanasia law so that people who aren’t dying can be eligible. Please contact your MP by early March to express concern. Read below, watch this two-minute video, or download the EFC’s action kit (updated Feb. 18) to help you engage. A few minutes of your time can have a big impact.

Issue summary

Bill C-7 is moving very quickly through Parliament, as the Justice Minister hoped to pass it by Feb. 26, 2021 or soon after. It recently passed from the House of Commons to the Senate, which made amendments that worsened this deeply flawed bill, and the bill is now back in the House where those amendments are being considered. Time is short for Canadians to register their concerns and objections, as the deadline has only been extended to March 26.

Bill C-7 will allow assisted death for Canadians who are not dying, by removing the requirement that a person’s death must be “reasonably foreseeable” in order to be eligible for assisted suicide and euthanasia. The bill establishes two streams of eligibility: those whose natural death is foreseeable, and those whose natural death is not foreseeable.

For those whose death is reasonably foreseeable, Bill C-7 is removing some key safeguards that were established in 2016, such as a 10-day reflection period between the request and the hastened death, and the requirement that a person is able to consent at the time of the hastened death. The bill also sets additional conditions for hastened death for those who are not dying.

The amendments proposed by the Senate have made this deeply flawed bill even worse. It has passed changes to allow euthanasia for those with mental illness alone and to allow advance requests by a person before they are diagnosed with an illness. On Feb. 23 Canada's justice minister said the government would agree to the Senate amendment to allow medical assistance in dying for mental illness alone, but in 2 years instead of 18 months as the Senate had proposed. He is rejecting the Senate amendment for advance requests.

Action request - Updated Feb. 18

It's urgent to call on MPs to reject the proposals to allow euthanasia for those who aren't dying, as our two-minute video explains. The EFC encourages supporters to express your concern for vulnerable Canadians, such as individuals with disabilities.

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