Medical Assistance in Dying—Independent Review ProcessPublished on 15 December 2016 Hansard and Statements by Senator James Cowan (retired)
Hon. James S. Cowan:
My question as well is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I gave his office notice this morning that I was going to ask about this issue.
It arises out of the bill that we passed in the spring dealing with medical assistance in dying. As a result of the work that was done here, the bill, now the act, contained a requirement for the government to initiate, not later than 180 days after the day on which the bill received Royal Assent, one or more independent reviews of issues relating to requests by mature minors for medical assistance in dying, to advance requests and to requests where mental illness is the sole underlying medical condition. Those reports are to be tabled in Parliament not later than two years after the day on which they are initiated.
Leader, your government the other day announced that they called upon the Council of Canadian Academies to conduct those reviews. The government news release said:
As part of the review process, the CCA will consider additional evidence from national and international experts, other levels of government, health care providers, and stakeholders impacted by the issues under review.
I will group my questions together, if I may. Will the CCA publicly identify the reviewers, the panellists who will be doing this? Will there be an opportunity for Canadians to make submissions to the panels in the course of their review, and will there be public hearings of these panels? I do have a supplementary that will arise out of that.