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The medical assistance in dying bill in the Senate
December 7, 2020
NEWS

QUICK LINKS: In the Chamber In Committee Amendments

Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), would bring Criminal Code provisions governing medical assistance in dying into compliance with a Quebec court decision that found some current provisions to be unconstitutional.

On June 17, 2016, a bill legalizing medical assistance in dying received Royal Assent. Provisions of Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying), were subsequently challenged in court.

On September 11, 2019, Quebec Superior Court Justice Christine Baudouin ruled that restricting eligibility for medical assistance in dying to people whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Justice Baudouin gave the federal government six months to change the law before her ruling came into effect; the government asked for and received extensions and now has until March 26, 2021 to change the law.

The bill also makes changes to the law beyond the issues raised by Justice Baudouin.

Progress through Parliament

In the Chamber

First Reading

Bill C-7 was introduced at first reading in the Senate on December 10, 2020.

Debates

December 10, 2020 Read Watch

Second Reading

Second reading debate began on December 14, 2020.

The bill was adopted at second reading on December 17, 2020 and referred to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

Debates

December 17, 2020 Read Watch
December 16, 2020 Read Watch
December 15, 2020 Read Watch
December 14, 2020 Read Watch

Third Reading

The committee reported the bill without amendment on February 8, 2021; debate at third reading began later that day. The Senate adopted a motion to group third reading debate into themes:

  • Mental illness and degenerative illness
  • Safeguards and advance requests
  • Vulnerable and minority groups, health care (including palliative care) and access to medical assistance in dying
  • Conscience rights
  • Review process and the coming into force of the legislation.

The Senate adopted the bill at third reading, with amendments, on February 17, 2021.

 

Debates

February 17, 2021 Read Watch
February 16, 2021 Read Watch
February 11, 2021 Read Watch
February 10, 2021 Read Watch
February 9, 2021 Read Watch
February 8, 2021 Read Watch

In committee

LCJC - Legal and Constitutional Affairs

On November 3, 2020, the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs was authorized by the Senate to pre-study Bill C-7. The committee released a report on the bill on December 10, 2020.

The bill was referred to the committee after it was adopted at second reading on December 17, 2020.

The committee completed its study on February 3, 2021 and adopted the bill without amendment on division. The committee reported the bill to the Senate on February 8, 2021.

 

Meetings

 
February 3, 2021 Watch
February 2, 2021 Watch
February 1, 2021 Watch
January 29, 2021 Read
December 9, 2020 Read
December 2, 2020
Pre-study of Bill C-7
Read
November 27, 2020
Pre-study of Bill C-7
Watch
November 26, 2020
Pre-study of Bill C-7
Watch
November 25, 2020
Pre-study of Bill C-7
Watch
November 24, 2020
Pre-study of Bill C-7
Watch
November 23, 2020
Pre-study of Bill C-7
Watch

 

Amendments