Where next for the Standard?
The Vulnerable Persons Standard was developed in 2016 as a response to the Supreme Court of Canada's Carter Decision and to assist the Government of Canada as it wrote Canada's first medical-assistance in dying law, Bill C-14.
The Standard was developed by a body of advisors with expertise in medicine, ethics, law, public policy and needs of vulnerable persons.
The VPS is a vital policy instrument for protecting vulnerable Canadians — especially those with disabilities — from direct and indirect forms of coercion, abuse and inducement to suicide.
Currently there are several challenges to Canada's MAiD law that are before the Courts. Broadly these challenges argue that any restrictions on the ability of an individual to seek medical assistance in dying constitutes an unfair barrier to access.
VPS advisors will seek intervenor status in those cases where expanded access would contravene the Standard and place the lives of vulnerable Canadians at risk.
VPS advisors will also provide evidence to the Canadian Council of Academies which is studying aspects of MAiD, and participate in the development of vulnerability assessments used by health providers.