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THE SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE ON MEDICAL ASSISTANCE IN DYING

MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS


OTTAWA, Monday, May 9, 2022
(6)

[English]

Pursuant to the orders of the Senate of March 31, 2022 and May 4, 2022, and the orders of the House of Commons of March 30, 2022 and May 2, 2022, the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying met this day in room 225-A, West Block, and with videoconference, at 6:32 p.m. ET, the joint chairs, the Honourable Yonah Martin and the Honourable Marc Garneau, P.C., presiding.

Representing the Senate: The Honourable Senators Dalphond, Kutcher, Martin and Mégie (4).

Representing the Senate by videoconference: The Honourable Senator Wallin (1).

Representing the House of Commons: Gary Anandasangaree, Michael Cooper, Alistair MacGregor, James Maloney and Luc Thériault (5).

Representing the House of Commons by videoconference: René Arseneault, Michael Barrett, the Honourable Hedy Fry, P.C., the Honourable Marc Garneau, P.C., and Dominique Vien (5).

Participating in the meeting: Julia Nicol and Marlisa Tiedemann, analysts, Library of Parliament.

Pursuant to the orders of reference adopted by the Senate on March 31, 2022 and May 4, 2022, and the orders of the House of Commons of March 30, 2022 and May 2, 2022, the committee continued its study on the review of the provisions of the Criminal Code relating to medical assistance in dying and their application, including, but not limited to, issues relating to mature minors, advance requests, mental illness, the state of palliative care in Canada and the protection of Canadians with disabilities.

WITNESSES (by videoconference):

Institut de planification des soins du Québec:

Danielle Chalifoux, Lawyer and Chair.

As individuals:

Louise Bernier, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Sherbrooke;

Trudo Lemmens, Professor, Scholl Chair, Health Law and Policy, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto;

Jocelyn Downie, University Research Professor, Faculties of Law and Medicine, Dalhousie University;

Dr. Catherine Ferrier, Physician, Division of Geriatric Medicine, McGill University Health Centre;

Dr. Susan MacDonald, Associate Professor of Medicine and Family Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland;

Dr. Laurent Boisvert, Physician;

Dr. Lilian Thorpe, Professor, University of Saskatchewan;

Dr. Romayne Gallagher, Clinical Professor, Palliative Medicine, University of British Columbia.

Michael Cooper moved that the committee dedicate six hours to study the effectiveness, compliance, and enforceability of the legislated safeguards for Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada under both the C-14 and C-7 regimes.

The Senate joint chair moved that debate be adjourned on the motion to Monday, May 16, 2022.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Luc Thériault moved that, given the importance of the Special Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying’s work with regards to the provisions of the Criminal Code and the application thereof, the committee allocate time as follows to hear witness testimony for each of the components of this study:

a) 12 hours for testimony related to mature minors;

b) 12 hours for testimony related to advance requests;

c) 12 hours for testimony related to mental health;

d) 8 hours for testimony related to palliative care; and

e) 5 hours for testimony related to persons with disabilities;

it being understood that the time already allocated to hear from witnesses at the committee meetings of April 25 and 28 is taken into account when calculating the number of hours allocated per component.

The Senate joint chair moved that debate be adjourned on the motion to Monday, May 16, 2022.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Louise Bernier, Trudo Lemmens and Danielle Chalifoux each made a statement and answered questions.

At 7:38 p.m., the committee suspended.

At 7:42 p.m., the committee resumed.

Jocelyn Downie, Dr. Catherine Ferrier and Dr. Susan MacDonald each made a statement and answered questions.

At 8:37 p.m., the committee suspended.

At 8:42 p.m., the committee resumed.

Dr. Laurent Boisvert, Dr. Romayne Gallagher and Dr. Lilian Thorpe each made a statement and answered questions.

At 9:37 p.m., the committee adjourned to the call of the joint chairs.

ATTEST:

Leif-Erik Aune

Andrea Mugny

Joint Clerks of the Committee