Where Next for the Standard?

The Vulnerable Persons Standard is a vital policy instrument for protecting Canadians in vulnerable circumstances. The continued relevance and importance of the VPS is evident in several ongoing matters, including the following:

Federal Regulations for MAiD Monitoring

Canada’s Minister of Health is currently preparing regulations that will determine how we monitor the impacts and implications of MAiD for years to come.

Background
On December 16, 2017, the Minister published draft regulations for a pan-Canadian system of monitoring Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). VPS Advisors completed a detailed review of the draft regulations to assess its compliance with the Standard and prepared an extensive submission. In it, they highlighted a number of critical omissions from the government’s proposal that fall short of the Standard and undermine the government’s own commitments in the preamble to Canada’s MAID law.

The government has committed to publish a summary of all submissions received in the spring of 2018. The final regulations will be published in the summer of 2018.

More Information
Read the backgrounder, Why we must monitor MAiD
Read "In a Nutshell – VPS Recommendations for Monitoring"
Read the VPS Submission on draft monitoring regulations
Read our featured Blog, “Monitoring Matters”

Legal Challenges

Currently there are several challenges to Canada's MAiD law that are before the Courts.

Background
One case that was recently decided in Ontario upheld the regulations requiring that practitioners’ rights of conscientious objection to MAiD do not shield them from the obligation to refer their patients to physicians willing to perform MAiD.

Two other cases, one in Québec and one in British Columbia seek to remove the requirement that only patients facing “reasonably foreseeable” natural death can receive MAiD. A number of VPS supporting organizations have sought intervenor status in those cases and will argue that expanded access would contravene the Standard and place the lives of vulnerable Canadians at risk.

More Information
Interim Judgments of the Québec Superior Court concerning intervention applications by VPS supporting organizations, the Canadian Association for Community Living and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (available in French only).

Jugement – demandes d’intervention
- Granting the applicants intervener status

Jugement – requète pour expertises additionelles
- Denying the applicants permission to file any evidence or participate beyond factum and oral argument

Studies about expanding MAiD

Background
Three studies are currently underway at the Council of Canadian Academies, considering issues related to providing MAiD to persons younger than 18 years of age, persons whose natural death is not reasonably foreseeable but who request MAiD because of a mental health condition, and persons who are no longer capable of expressing consent but who have earlier indicated a request for MAiD by advance directive. A number of VPS Advisors and supporting organizations have made submissions to the CCA, providing evidence of heightened vulnerability for many citizens if these restrictions are lifted.

More information
Submission to CCA by VPS supporter, Canadian Association for Community Living
Submission to CCA by the Institute for Research on Inclusion and Society

 

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