MAiD – Medical Assistance in Dying

Policy and Research Lead: Co-Director Dr. Tim Stainton

  • Co-Chair, Canadian Association for Community Living Task Force on Medical Assistance in Dying
  • Member, International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) Ethics Special Interest Research Group. Expert Advisory Group on MAiD.
  • Invited consultant to the Canadian Federal Ministers of Justice, Health and, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion on reform of MAiD legislation. Vancouver Jan. 16, 2020.
  • Member, The Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying, Council of Canadian Academies (2016 -2018)

The CIIC supports the work of Inclusion Canada and supports the Vulnerable Persons Standard.

For more information, please contact Dr. Tm Stainton

Council of Canadian Academies Report on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)

In December 2016, the CCA was asked by then 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 (MAID). Specifically, the CCA was tasked with examining three particularly complex types of requests for MAID that were identified for further review and study in the legislation passed by Parliament in 2016: requests by mature minors, advance requests, and requests where a mental disorder is the sole underlying medical condition.

View the Series of Reports

Media and Consultations

Police investigation, public outcry following B.C. woman’s medically assisted death

Tim Stainton: “We are now one of the 3 most permissive jurisdictions on Medical Assistance in Dying or assisted suicide in the world. They fight every day for an assisted life and they feel that they are just now being offered an assisted death.”
Canada now has one of the most permissive assisted suicide laws in the world. Disability organizations including Inclusion Canada have expressed their deep concern about how this law may impact people with disabilities.
Want to learn more? Tim is presenting at the Inclusion BC Conference in Surrey, BC May 28, 2022. This session will update participants about the current state of MAiD in Canada and highlight some of the key concerns of the disability community. Conference registration is available at
Warning: this session will discuss assisted suicide and the content might be upsetting or triggering to participants. We encourage participants to take care of themselves and their well-being. Please send an email to if you would like more information about the workshop.


Tim Stainton appears before Quebec National Assembly Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying

On May 25, 2021 CIIC Founder and Co-Director Professor Tim Stainton presented a brief to the Quebec National Assembly’s select committee Special consultations and public hearings on the Evolution of the Act respecting end-of-life care with a particular focus on the vulnerability of people with disabilities within the evolving Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) regime in Canada.

Brief to the Commission Spéciale sur l’évolution de la Loi concernant les soins fin de vie National Assembly of Quebec. Professor Tim Stainton May 25, 2021

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Links to additional briefs can be found here:

Social Justice’s Poor Cousin: Disability, MAiD and Social Work

Submission to The Social Lens: A Social Work Action Blog by Tim Stainton, Professor, UBC School of Social Work & Co-Director Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship



Government stops debate, rams through sweeping changes setting back disability rights on the anniversary of Canada ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

If Bill C-7 becomes law, it would introduce assisted suicide as an option exclusively for people with disabilities and disabling medical conditions who are not dying or near death.

Inclusion Canada Press Release 


Inclusion Canada – Safeguards in Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)

(From Inclusion Canada) People who request medical assistance in dying can be motivated by a range of factors unrelated to their medical condition or prognosis. These factors make some people vulnerable to request an assisted death when what they want and deserve is better treatment – to have their needs for care, respect, and palliative and other supports better met.

The Supreme Court of Canada’s Carter Decision and Canada’s first medical assistance in dying law (Bill C-14) recognized this reality. While the Supreme Court found that the absolute ban on assisted suicide breached a suffering person’s right to autonomy in some cases, it also found that an exception to the ban could make some people vulnerable to abuse and error. Therefore, access to physician-assisted death must be balanced by our moral and constitutional duties to protect vulnerable persons who have unmet needs. Inclusion Canada believes medical assistance in dying in Canada must adequately balance protecting choice and autonomy while safeguarding abuse.

With court challenges already in place to Bill C-14, there is risk in losing ground on safeguards to protect vulnerable persons from being induced to commit suicide, and wide-scale perception that some persons’ lives are not worth living.

Vulnerable Persons Standard

(From Inclusion Canada) The Vulnerable Persons Standard was developed in 2016 as a response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s Carter Decision and to assist the Government of Canada as it developed Canada’s first medical assistance in dying law (Bill C-14) – it now assists policy-makers working to regulate the practice of medical assistance in dying. The VPS is a vital policy instrument for protecting vulnerable Canadians — especially those with disabilities — from direct and indirect forms of coercion, abuse and inducement to suicide.

The Standard was developed by a body of advisors with expertise in medicine, ethics, law, public policy and needs of vulnerable persons. These advisors continue to advocate on behalf of the Standard and are actively involved in on-going studies as well as litigation related to medical assistance in dying in Canada. Inclusion Canada lead the convening of the Vulnerable Persons Advisors and Coalition and acts as the Secretariat for the VPS.

Currently there are several challenges to Canada’s medical assistance in dying (MAiD) law that are before the Courts. Broadly these challenges argue that any restrictions on the ability of an individual to seek medical assistance in dying constitutes an unfair barrier to access. VPS advisors will seek intervenor status in those cases where expanded access would contravene the Standard and place the lives of vulnerable Canadians at risk.

VPS advisors also provided evidence to the Canadian Council of Academies which studyied aspects of MAiD, and participate in the development of vulnerability assessments used by health providers.

From January 13-27, 2020, the Government of Canada hosted an online public consultation on expanding access to medical assistance in dying. During this consultation period, an informal ask went out to a small group of supporters of the Vulnerable Persons Standard (VPS) : to submit a copy of individuals’ survey responses in PDF format for analysis. Of the more than 300, 000 responses received by the Federal Government, advisors to the VPS received copies of 60 submissions.

The text from the open-ended responses captured in these submissions were organized by theme, and the snippets displayed in Voices from the Margins were chosen to represent trending concerns from the margins of popular opinion. For more on the significance of data from the margins, see Catherine Frazee’s October 21, 2020 VPS blog post titled “Medical assistance in dying, public confidence and the lesson of the driverless car.”