Federal Panel on Physician-Assisted Dying Begins European Study

OTTAWA, Sept. 4, 2015 /CNW/ - The Expert Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v Canada  is in Europe to explore how physician-assisted dying is regulated in three European countries - the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. 

During their 11-day tour, panel members will participate in over 25 meetings with government officials as well as experts in the fields of medicine, law, ethics and human rights to discuss issues that are fundamental to developing a federal legislative response to the Supreme Court of Canada's Carter v. Canada ruling.  

The Panel will also examine legislation regulating physician-assisted dying in these three jurisdictions, with a focus on the main eligibility requirements for euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, the risks to individuals and society, and safeguards to address risks for both patients and physicians.

"We are consulting as broadly and deeply as our mandate and time allow," said Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov, Chair of the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v Canada. "It is critical that we learn all that we can from countries with experience in euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide."

The European study is part of a larger program of consultation that includes a national online consultation with Canadians (www.ep-ce.ca/consultation), meetings with expert groups and individuals, and in-person consultations that are set to resume immediately following the federal election.

The online questionnaire, called The Issue Book, along with other information products, are available on the Panel's website at www.ep-ce.ca. Through these tools, participants can learn more about assisted suicide, voluntary euthanasia and other end-of-life care practices available to Canadians including palliative care.  The Issue Book will continue to gather input from Canadians until October 11, 2015. It will provide an opportunity for the greatest number of people, representing a broad range of views, to be heard on this important issue.

"We are making every effort to fulfil our mandate in the months ahead," said Dr. Chochinov. "This includes doing everything within our power to ensure meaningful consultations with Canadians on this important issue." 

Over the next few months, panel members will be paying careful attention to what Canadians and stakeholders have to say about the implementation of assisted dying practices.  They will be analysing and assessing online input and submissions received via the Panel's website and continuing to review relevant research to inform their final report on legislative options for the government to consider.

Individuals and organizations can continue to send their written submissions to the Panel, via the website, until October 11, 2015.

For further information on the Panel and its work, please visit:


Link to:

Canadians have an opportunity to be heard on the issue of physician-assisted dying


SOURCE Secretariat to the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v. Canada

For further information: Secretariat Communications, 613-952-9364, media@ep-ce.ca, www.ep-ce.ca

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