Skip to main content Start of content

JUST Committee Meeting

Notices of Meeting include information about the subject matter to be examined by the committee and date, time and place of the meeting, as well as a list of any witnesses scheduled to appear. The Evidence is the edited and revised transcript of what is said before a committee. The Minutes of Proceedings are the official record of the business conducted by the committee at a sitting.

For an advanced search, use Publication Search tool.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the accessibility of this publication, please contact us at accessible@parl.gc.ca.

Previous day publication Next day publication

Minutes of Proceedings

42nd Parliament, 1st Session
Meeting No. 15
Monday, May 9, 2016, 4:30 p.m. to 8:33 p.m.
Presiding
Anthony Housefather, Chair (Liberal)

• Gérard Deltell for Hon. Rob Nicholson (Conservative)
• Mark Warawa for Hon. Rob Nicholson (Conservative)
• Bill Blair (Liberal)
• Sean Casey (Liberal)
• Garnett Genuis (Conservative)
• Tom Kmiec (Conservative)
• Robert Oliphant (Liberal)
• Arnold Viersen (Conservative)
• Elizabeth May (Green Party)
• Luc Thériault (Bloc Québécois)
Library of Parliament
• Lyne Casavant, Analyst
• Christine Morris, Analyst
• Marlisa Tiedemann, Analyst
 
House of Commons
• Philippe Méla, Legislative Clerk
• Olivier Champagne, Legislative Clerk
Department of Justice
• Julie Besner, Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section
• Joanne Klineberg, Senior Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section
• Carole Morency, Director General and Senior General Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section
Department of Health
• Sharon Harper, Manager, Continuing Care Unit, Health Care Programs and Policy Directorate, Strategic Policy Branch
• Helen McElroy, Director General, Health Care Programs and Policy Directorate, Strategic Policy Branch
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Wednesday, May 4, 2016, the Committee resumed consideration of Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying).

The Committee commenced its clause-by-clause study of the Bill.

Carole Morency, Joanne Klineberg, Julie Besner, Helen McElroy and Sharon Harper answered questions.

The Chair called Clause 1.

Clause 1 carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 8; NAYS: 0.

On Clause 2,

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 to line 15 on page 3 with the following:

“227 (1) No licensee commits culpable homicide if they provide a person with assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.2.

(2) Section 14 does not apply with respect to a person who consents to have death inflicted on them by means of assistance in dying provided in accordance with section 241.2.

(3) In this section, assistance in dying and licensee have the same meaning as in section 241.1. ”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 766 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition.

The Chair ruled that the following eight (8) amendments were consequential to the previous amendment and therefore they were also inadmissible:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 24 on page 3 to line 21 on page 8 with the following:

“(2) No licensee commits an offence under paragraph (1)(b) if they provide a person with assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.2.

(3) In this section, assistance in dying and licensee have the same meanings as in section 241.1.

ASSISTANCE IN DYING

241.1 The following definitions apply in this section and in sections 241.2 to 241.4.

assistance in dying means

(a) the administering by a licensee of a substance to a person, at their request, that hastens their death; or

(b) the prescribing or providing by a licensee of a substance to a person, at their request, so that they may self-administer the substance and in doing so hasten their own death. (aide à mourir)

licensee means the holder of a licence issued under section 241.21. (titulaire d’une licence)

medical practitioner means a person who is entitled to practise medicine under the laws of a province. (médecin)

nurse practitioner means a registered nurse who, under the laws of a province, is entitled to practise as a nurse practitioner — or under an equivalent designation — and to autonomously make diagnoses, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe substances and treat patients. (infirmier praticien)

pharmacist means a person who is entitled to practise pharmacy under the laws of a province. (pharmacien)

241.2 (1) A person may receive assistance in dying only if they meet all of the following criteria:

(a) they are eligible — or, but for any applicable minimum period of residence or waiting period, would be eligible — for health services funded by a government in Canada;

(b) they are at least 18 years of age and capable of making decisions with respect to their health;

(c) they have a grievous and terminal medical condition;

(d) they have been provided with counselling or psychological services prior to making a request for assistance in dying;

(e) they have made a voluntary request for assistance in dying that, in particular, was not made as a result of external pressure; and

(f) they give informed consent to receive assistance in dying.

(2) A person has a grievous and terminal medical condition if

(a) they have a serious and incurable illness, disease or disability;

(b) they are in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability;

(c) that illness, disease or disability or that state of decline causes them enduring physical suffering that is intolerable to them and that cannot be relieved under conditions that they consider acceptable; and

(d) their natural death has become reasonably foreseeable, taking into account all of their medical circumstances, without a prognosis necessarily having been made as to the specific length of time that they have remaining.

(3) Before a licensee provides a person with assistance in dying, the licensee must

(a) be of the opinion that the person meets all of the criteria set out in subsection (1);

(b) ensure that the person’s request for assistance in dying was made in writing and signed and dated by the person or made in accordance with subsection (4);

(c) be satisfied that the request was signed and dated by the person before two independent witnesses who then also signed and dated the request or was made in accordance with subsection (4) before two independent witnesses who stated in an affidavit or solemn declaration that they were present during the making of the video recording;

(d) ensure that the person has been informed that they may, at any time and in any manner, withdraw their request;

(e) ensure that two medical practitioners or nurse practitioners have provided a written opinion confirming that the person meets all of the criteria set out in subsection (1);

(f) be satisfied that the medical practitioners or nurse practitioners referred to in paragraph (e) are independent;

(g) ensure that there are at least 15 clear days between the day on which the request was signed by the person and the day on which the assistance in dying is provided; and

(h) immediately before providing the assistance in dying, give the person an opportunity to withdraw their request and ensure that the person gives express consent to receive assistance in dying.

(4) If the person requesting assistance in dying is unable to sign and date the request, the person may make a video recording of their request, in which they must state the date of the recording.

(5) Any person who is at least 18 years of age and who understands the nature of the request for assistance in dying may act as an independent witness, except if they

(a) know or believe that they are a beneficiary under the will of the person making the request, or a recipient, in any other way, of a financial or other material benefit resulting from that person’s death;

(b) are an owner or operator of any health care facility at which the person making the request is being treated or any facility in which that person resides;

(c) are directly involved in providing health care services to the person making the request; or

(d) directly provide personal care to the person making the request.

(6) The medical practitioners or nurse practitioners referred to in paragraph (3)(e) are independent if they

(a) are not in a business relationship with the other practitioner, a mentor to them or responsible for supervising their work;

(b) do not know or believe that they are a beneficiary under the will of the person making the request, or a recipient, in any other way, of a financial or other material benefit resulting from that person’s death; or

(c) do not know or believe that they are connected to the other practitioner or to the person making the request in any other way that would affect their objectivity.

241.21 The Minister of Justice may issue a licence to authorize a person to provide assistance in dying if he or she is satisfied that the person

(a) is at least 18 years of age;

(b) has no criminal record;

(c) is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident; and

(d) has successfully completed a prescribed training course.

241.3 A licensee who, in providing assistance in dying, knowingly fails to comply with all of the requirements set out in paragraphs 241.2(3)(b) to (h) is guilty of an offence and is liable

(a) on conviction on indictment, to a term of imprisonment of not more than ten years; or

(b) on summary conviction, to a term of imprisonment of not more than 18 months.

241.4 (1) Everyone commits an offence who commits forgery in relation to a request for assistance in dying.

(2) Everyone commits an offence who destroys a document that relates to a request for assistance in dying with intent to interfere with

(a) another person’s access to assistance in dying;

(b) the lawful assessment of a request for assistance in dying; or

That Bill C-14, in Clause 4, be amended

(a) by replacing lines 2 to 21 on page 9 with the following:

“made under subsection (3), a licensee who receives a written request for assistance in dying must, in accordance with those regulations, provide the information required by those regulations to the recipient designated in those regulations or, if no recipient has been designated, to the Minister of Justice.

(2) Unless they are exempted under regulations made under subsection (3), a pharmacist who dispenses a substance in connection with the provision of assistance in dying must, in accordance with those regulations, provide the information required by those regulations to the recipient designated in those regulations or, if no recipient has been designated, to the Minister of Justice.

(3) The Minister of Justice may make regulations

(a) respecting the provision and collection, for the purpose of monitoring assistance in dying, of information relating to requests for, and the provision of, assistance in dying, including”

(b) by adding after line 28 on page 9 the following:

“(a.1) respecting the issuance, suspension, cancellation, duration and terms and conditions of any licence to provide assistance in dying;”

That Bill C-14, in Clause 6, be amended by replacing lines 21 to 29 on page 10 with the following:

“(a) a licensee who provides assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.2; and

(b) a person who does anything for the purpose of aiding a licensee to provide assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.2.

(3) In subsection (2), assistance in dying and licensee have the”

That Bill C-14, in Clause 7, be amended

(a) by replacing line 4 on page 11 with the following:

“of assistance in dying and the requirement set”

(b) by replacing lines 9 to 11 on page 11 with the following:

assistance in dying has the same meaning as in section 241.1 of the Criminal Code; (aide à mourir)”

(c) by replacing line 15 on page 11 with the following:

“receives assistance in dying, that member is”

That Bill C-14, in Clause 8, be amended by replacing line 24 on page 11 with the following:

“sults from an inmate receiving assistance in

That Bill C-14, in Clause 9, be amended

(a) by replacing lines 1 and 2 on page 12 with the following:

assistance in dying has the same meaning as in section 241.1 of the Criminal Code. (aide à

(b) by replacing line 8 on page 12 with the following:

“er conduct by reason only that they receive assis-”

(c) by replacing line 12 on page 12 with the following:

“receives assistance in dying, that member or vet-”

That Bill C-14, in the preamble, be amended

(a) by replacing lines 4 and 5 on page 1 with the following:

“and intolerable suffering and who wish to seek assistance in dying;”

(b) by replacing line 8 on page 1 with the following:

“and abuse in the provision of assistance in”

(c) by replacing lines 21 to 24 on page 1 with the following:

“mitting access to assistance in dying for competent adults whose deaths are reasonably foreseeable strikes the most appropriate balance between the autonomy of persons who seek”

(d) by replacing lines 29 to 31 on page 1 with the following:

“to assistance in dying across Canada, while recognizing the provinces’ jurisdiction over various matters related to assistance in dying, in-”

(e) by replacing line 3 on page 2 with the following:

“Whereas persons who avail themselves of”

(f) by replacing line 12 on page 2 with the following:

“respect to assistance in dying;”

(g) by replacing line 19 on page 2 with the following:

“a person may seek access to assistance in”

That Bill C-14 be amended by replacing the long title on page 1 with the following:

“An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (assistance in dying)”

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 35 on page 2 with the following:

“227 (1) No medical practitioner”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 5 to 8 on page 3.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 0; NAYS: 8.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 12 on page 3 the following:

“(4.1) For greater certainty, subsection (4) and section 241.2 do not confer a right on a person to have death inflicted on them.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 2; NAYS: 7.

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 7 on page 3 with the following:

“has an honest but mistaken belief about any fact that”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Murray Rankin and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 8.

Clause 2 carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 5; NAYS: 1.

On Clause 3,

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Monday, May 2, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 21 on page 3 with the following:

“(a) persuades or encourages a person to die by suicide or abets a per-”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 8.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Monday, May 2, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Luc Thériault for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 27 on page 3 the following:

“(2.1) No medical practitioner or nurse practitioner commits an offence under paragraph (1)(a) or (b) if they provide a person with information about the care that is offered in connection with medical assistance in dying.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 0; NAYS: 9.

Colin Fraser moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 12 on page 4 the following:

“(5.1) For greater certainty, no social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, medical practitioner, nurse practitioner or other health care professional commits an offence if they provide information to a person on the lawful provision of medical assistance in dying.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Colin Fraser and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 9; NAYS: 0.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 13 to 16 on page 4.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 0; NAYS: 9.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 24 to 30 on page 4 with the following:

“(a) the prescribing or providing by a medical practioner or nurse practioner of a substance to a person, at their request, so that they may, while under the supervision of the medical practioner or nurse practioner, self-administer the substance and in doing so cause their own death; or

(b) if a person is physically incapable of self-administering a substance to cause their death, the administering by a medical practioner or nurse practioner of the substance in accordance with a request by the person.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

Rob Nicholson moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 33 on page 4 with the following:

“practise medicine as a registered physician under the laws of a province.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Rob Nicholson and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 6 on page 5 with the following:

“dying only if a judge of the superior court in the province in which the person is ordinarily resident, on application by the person, makes an order stating that the court is satisfied that the person meets all of the following criteria:”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended

(a) by replacing lines 11 and 12 on page 5 with the following:

“(b) they are at least 18 years of age;”

(b) by replacing line 18 on page 5 with the following:

“(e) they have given informed consent to receive medical as-”

(c) by replacing line 1 on page 6 with the following:

“(a) be of the opinion that the person has met all of the”

(d) by replacing lines 5 to 12 on page 6 with the following:

“(i) made while the person was capable of making decisions with respect to their health,

(ii) made in writing and signed and dated by the person or by another person under subsection (4), and

(iii) signed and dated after the person had been diagnosed with a grievous and irremediable medical condition;”

(e) by replacing, in the English version, line 22 on page 6 with the following:

“ing that the person has met all of the criteria set out in”

(f) by replacing line 34 on page 6 with the following:

“is imminent or if the person had previously completed a valid request before the loss of their capacity — any shorter period that the first medi- ”

(g) by replacing line 37 on page 6 with the following:

“(h) if the person is still capable, immediately before providing the medical assis-”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Murray Rankin and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 8.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 13 on page 5 with the following:

“(c) they have a grievous and terminal medical”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

At 6:07 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 6:25 p.m., the sitting resumed.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 13 on page 5 with the following:

“(c) they have a terminal medical”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Monday, May 2, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Luc Thériault for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended

(a) by replacing lines 13 and 14 on page 5 with the following:

“(c) they have a grievous and irremediable medical condition, whether an illness, a disease or a disability, that causes them enduring and intolerable suffering given their medical circumstances;

(b) by adding after line 19 on page 5 the following:

“(1.1) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(c), the person need not submit to treatment that is not acceptable to them in order for their condition to be considered irremediable.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 0; NAYS: 8.

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 14 on page 5 with the following:

“condition, whether an illness, a disease or a disability, that cannot be remedied under conditions they consider acceptable, and that causes them enduring suffering that is intolerable to them in the circumstances of their condition;”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Murray Rankin and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 7.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 14 on page 5 the following:

“(c.1) they have been provided with counselling services or psychological services prior to making a request for medical assistance in dying;”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 7.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 17 on page 5 with the following:

“a result of external pressure or lack of access to services required to address the underlying cause of the request, such as palliative care, chronic pain care and geriatric care; and”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 7.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 18 and 19 on page 5 with the following:

“(e) they give informed written consent to receive medical assistance in dying; and

(f) their request for medical assistance in dying is recorded before two independent witnesses if they are unable to give written consent.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 2; NAYS: 7.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 18 on page 5 with the following:

“(e) they give informed and uncoerced consent to receive medical as-”

After debate, by unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

Michael Cooper moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 19 on page 5 the following:

“(f) they have, if they suffer from an underlying mental health condition, undergone a psychiatric examination performed by a certified psychiatrist to confirm their capacity to give informed consent to receive medical assistance in dying.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Michael Cooper and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 19 on page 5 the following:

“(f) they consulted a medical practitioner regarding palliative care options and were informed of the full range of options.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 19 on page 5 the following:

“(f) they have received the written consent of the Minister of Health to the administration of medical assistance in dying in their case.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 2; NAYS: 7.

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 20 to 35 on page 5.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Murray Rankin and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 8.

Colin Fraser moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 21 on page 5 with the following:

“condition only if they meet all of the following criteria:”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Colin Fraser and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 8; NAYS: 0.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Monday, May 2, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 22 and 23 on page 5 with the following:

“(a) they have a serious illness, disease or disability for which there is no treatment that is acceptable to them;”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 8.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended

(a) by replacing lines 22 and 23 on page 5 with the following:

“(a) they have a serious and terminal illness or disease;”

(b) by replacing lines 26 to 30 on page 5 with the following:

“(c) that illness or disease causes them enduring intolerable physical suffering that cannot be relieved; and”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 0; NAYS: 9.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Monday, May 2, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 24 on page 5 with the following:

“(b) they are in a state of irreversible de-”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 8.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 27 on page 5 with the following:

“cline causes them enduring physical”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 8.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Monday, May 2, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 31 to 35 on page 5.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 7.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 31 to 35 on page 5 with the following:

“(d) their imminent natural death has become foreseeable, taking into account all of their medical circumstances.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 31 to 35 on page 5 with the following:

“(d) their natural death is expected within thirty days, taking into account all of their medical circumstances.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 2; NAYS: 7.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 1 on page 6 with the following:

“(a) have reasonable proof that the person meets all of the”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 8.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended

(a) by replacing line 6 on page 6 with the following:

“person or made in accordance with subsection (4)”

(b) by replacing lines 14 to 16 on page 6 with the following:

“by the person before two independent witnesses who then also signed and dated the request or was made in accordance with subsection (4) before two independent witnesses who stated in an affidavit or solemn declaration that they were present during the making of the video recording;”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 8.

At 8:33 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.



Michael MacPherson
Clerk of the Committee