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Update on physician-assisted dying: A changing medical legal landscape

On February 29, 2016, an Alberta woman suffering from amynotrophic lateral sclerolsis (“ALS”), became the first person in Canada to obtain a physician-assisted death. Four days prior to her death, Ms. S applied to the Alberta Court of the Queen’s Bench and successfully obtained an exemption from the Criminal Code prohibition on physician-assisted dying in … Continue reading

Physician-assisted dying part 3: Finding a balance between autonomy and access

“Health institutions, including regional health authorities and other institutional providers (e.g. hospitals, hospices and long-term care facilities) are critical enablers of effective and equitable access to physician-assisted dying.” Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying, Final Report, November 30, 2015, at 3. Part 2 of this series examined the implications of the decriminalization of physician-assisted … Continue reading

Physician-assisted dying: Where are we now and where are we going?

What is the current status of physician-assisted dying in Canada? For most of Canada’s history, physician-assisted dying was a crime: sections 14 and 241(b) of the Criminal Code absolutely prohibited any person from assisting another person to commit suicide and provided that any person who violated this prohibition was liable to imprisonment for up to 14 … Continue reading
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