The Liberal government introduced its latest version of medically assisted death legislation this week. It’s an interesting example of the “dialogue” between the courts and Parliament that is often said to be a feature of our state. The first iteration of the law was passed in 2016 in response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) Carter decision the previous year.
In Carter, the SCC had more or less established a right to dispose of one’s life with a physician’s help. When the government cobbled together its first medical assistance in dying (MAID) scheme, the new bits of the Criminal Code contained a requirement that the death of the patient be “reasonably foreseeable,” making euthanasia available only to persons in the late stages of a well-understood terminal condition.
tap here to see other videos from our team.
If we think of the good old judiciary-legislature dialogue as a tennis match, this was immediately and widely identified as a fat, juicy lob over the net. Last fall a Quebec court smashed the ball back.