Assisted suicide and euthanasia have become rapidly accepted in Canada under the government’s Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) program, but there are still efforts to expand it even further. A new government report on MAiD was recently presented to Parliament, urging the inclusion of minors in the eligibility for physician-assisted death — without parental consent.
The Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying presented its latest report last week, which included a recommendation that minors be able to request MAiD.
“For MAID and mature minors, the committee heard a mix of views about whether MAID should be available to those under the age of 18,” the report read. “Many witnesses believed that age alone does not determine whether someone is capable of consenting to MAID. At the same time, a cautious approach was recommended, especially since there is little evidence from youth themselves on this topic. Most witnesses agreed that if MAID for mature minors were allowed, it should only be under track one (reasonably foreseeable natural death). The committee recommends that mature minors should have access to MAID under track one. The committee also recommends that youth be consulted on the topic of MAID and mature minors.”
The committee then made the recommendation that Canada should begin, within five years, funding research and consulting “with minors on the topic of MAID, including minors with terminal illnesses, minors with disabilities, minors in the child welfare system and Indigenous minors.”