Medical Assistance in Dying

The Council of Canadian Academies’ (CCA) Board of Governors has approved a request by Minister of Health Jane Philpott and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould, to undertake independent reviews related to medical assistance in dying. 


The CCA will examine three types of requests for medical assistance in dying that were identified as particularly complex and worthy of further study during the introduction of the Government of Canada’s legislation in early 2016: requests by mature minors, advance requests, and requests where mental illness is the sole underlying medical condition. In undertaking these reviews, the CCA will compile and assess information and evidence to inform the ongoing policy discussion on the issues related to assistance in dying in these three circumstances.

The review process will begin with planning meetings to discuss the scope of the work resulting in a detailed study plan. This will be followed by the recruitment of panel members to conduct the reviews. As part of its independent expert panel process, the CCA will consider evidence from peer reviewed literature, international and national organizations, health care providers, stakeholders, and other groups.

The CCA’s Member Academies ― the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences ― will partner to provide key guidance and input throughout the assessment process, including study design, expert panel nominations, and dissemination processes. As with all CCA assessments, the final reports will undergo rigorous peer review and will be released to the public in both official languages. CCA reports provide evidence to inform decision-making processes rather than explicit recommendations.

It is expected the reports will be finalized and released in late 2018.

For questions about these reviews:

All media requests may be directed to:

Samantha Rae Ayoub, Communications and Publishing Director at 613-567-5000 ext. 256 or

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