Under section 241.2(1) of the Criminal Code a person may now receive MAiD if he or she:
• has a serious and incurable illness, disease or disability;
• is in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability;
• that illness, disease or disability or that state of decline causes them enduring physical or psychological suffering that is intolerable to them and that cannot be relieved under conditions that they consider acceptable; and
• 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.
The current controversy is that the law does not allow for a person to give their consent in advance. This is problematic for persons with a deteriorating condition who may not be able to request MAiD when they truly need it (for example Alzheimer’s, dementia, ALS or spinal muscular atrophy).
Currently you cannot authorize another person to make that decision for you either in your Power of Attorney or in your Representation Agreement. Hopefully the law will change in the future to allow for this.
Deborah A. Todd