In a Nutshell: Summary of VPS Position on Monitoring the Practice of MAiD

The Draft Regulations proposed in December 2017 do not go far enough to ensure that MAiD is helping the people it is intended to serve, without putting others at risk. Specifically:

  • The Regulations must require MAiD Practitioners to report in appropriate detail any factors in a patient’s living conditions or life circumstances that may be causing or compounding their suffering.
  • The Regulations must require MAiD Practitioners to specifically report other treatments or interventions, such as palliative care, that were offered to relieve their patient’s suffering.
  • The Monitoring system must not rely solely on what MAiD Practitioners have to say about their patients and the practice of MAiD. Patients must be supported to offer their own perspectives if they wish. Similarly, members of a patient’s primary health care team must be permitted to contribute their knowledge and insights as well.
  • The Monitoring system must provide us with a deeper understanding of the reasons that patients choose MAiD.
  • The Monitoring system must provide sufficient information to the public so that our government can be held accountable for achieving the law’s objectives to respect autonomy and protect people from harm.

All of these amendments are consistent with the legislative objectives for Canada’s MAiD regime, as set out clearly in the Preamble to the law. Taken together, these amendments would go far toward ensuring that persons in vulnerable circumstances are protected from error and abuse, coercion and inducement.