Independent expert panel on medical assistance in dying releases three reports
Credit: Council of Canadian Academies
OTTAWA – The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) has released three reports on requests for medical assistance in dying (MAID), the result of an independent Expert Panel review conducted at the request of the federal government. The reports were released following their tabling in Parliament today.
The CCA was asked to examine three particularly complex types of requests for MAID that were identified for further review and study in the legislation passed by Parliament in 2016: requests by mature minors, advance requests, and requests where a mental disorder is the sole underlying medical condition.
The Expert Panel’s final reports reflect a broad range of knowledge, experience, and perspective from healthcare professions, diverse academic disciplines, advocacy groups, and jurisdictions where MAID is permitted. They gathered and interpreted, with the sensitivity required of the subject, the available evidence, and explored the societal, clinical, legal, and practical implications and issues associated with both permitting and prohibiting MAID in the three topic areas.
The CCA has a well-established approach for convening experts and assessing evidence to inform public policy development in Canada. It brought together a multidisciplinary expert panel of 43 individuals with expertise, knowledge and leadership in a range of disciplines including law, medicine, nursing, bioethics, social sciences, and health sciences, among others.
The CCA is a not-for-profit, independent, and non-partisan organization. The reports provide evidence to inform dialogue and decision-making and do not make recommendations about specific laws, practices, or cases.
“It was an honour to undertake this Expert Panel with the CCA. The three final reports reflect a particular moment in Canada and in the evolution of thinking and practice related to MAID. It is our hope that these reports will inform the ongoing national dialogue about MAID in Canada, and inform future policy discussions and decisions.” – The Honourable Marie Deschamps, C.C., Ad. E., Chair of the CCA Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying; Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada; Adjunct Professor at McGill University and Université de Sherbrooke
“This Expert Panel assessment required care, sensitivity, and wisdom to identify what is known about MAID in these three topic areas, and what gaps in knowledge remain to be filled. While no assessment can include every possible perspective, the CCA was mindful of the need to gather abundant expertise for this project. I am appreciative of the contribution of each Panel member in preparing these reports, and to Health Canada and Justice Canada for their confidence in CCA to undertake this important work.” – Eric M. Meslin, PhD, FCAHS, President and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies
For more information, and to arrange interviews:
Caitlin Kealey, MediaStyle
About the Council of Canadian Academies
The CCA is a not-for-profit organization that undertakes independent, evidence-based expert panel assessments to inform public policy development in Canada. The CCA was founded by three independent organizations that represent some of the finest minds in Canada ? the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Their Fellows and senior decision-makers sit on CCA’s Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Committee, and they are a key source of membership for expert panels. The CCA’s founding Academies also provide key guidance and input throughout the assessment process, including expert panel nominations and dissemination processes. For more information about the CCA or its assessments, please visit http://www.
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