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Witnessing and signing MAiD requests

Part 5: Medical assistance in dying

Witnessing and signing MAiD requests

The Criminal Code imposes several procedural safeguards including the requirement that a person’s request for MAiD must be made in writing, in the presence of two independent witnesses who must then also sign the request. To be considered independent, a witness:

  • must be at least 18 years of age
  • must understand the nature of the request for MAiD
  • must not know or believe that they are a beneficiary under the will of the person making the request, or a recipient, in any other way, of a financial or other material benefit resulting from that person’s death
  • must not be an owner or operator of any health care facility at which the person making the request is being treated or any facility in which that person resides
  • must not be directly involved in providing health care services to the person making the request
  • must not directly provide personal care to the person making the request

If a person requesting MAiD is unable to sign their request, another person—who is at least 18 years of age, who understands the nature of the request for MAiD and who does not know or believe that they are a beneficiary under the will of the person making the request, or a recipient, in any other way, of a financial or other material benefit resulting from that person’s death—may sign the request in the person’s presence, on the person’s behalf and under the person’s express direction.

In addition, the MAiD standards of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC require the physical attendance of a regulated health professional at a telemedicine assessment of eligibility, to act as a witness to the assessment.

Conscientious objection