Tomorrow is the CBA Constitutional and Human Rights Law Online Symposium 

Presented by the CBA Constitutional and Human Rights Law Section 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023 

11:00 am - 4:30 pm (times listed in Eastern Time) 


Session 2: MAID, MAID MD-SUMC, and the Charter: Emerging Constitutional & Human Rights Issues

In the eight years since the Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) decision, Canada’s medical assistance in dying (“MAID”) framework has evolved significantly. With the passage of Bill C-7, many Canadians with disabilities and organizations representing these communities have expressed concern about the expansion of MAID, arguing that the law violates substantive equality. Bill C-7 also extended MAID eligibility to include Canadians whose sole underlying medical condition is a mental disorder ("MAID MD-SUMC"), although implementation of this expanded eligibility will not occur until March 17, 2024. Concerns have been raised about Canadians who reportedly would not have sought access to MAID but for poverty, homelessness, or lack of supports. And UN experts have questioned whether Canada’s MAID framework is in compliance with Canada’s international human rights obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities. On the other hand, arguments have been raised that existing restrictions on MAID violate the Charter rights of those seeking access to it, and that further expansions are needed.

This timely panel will focus on unpacking some of the nuanced constitutional law and human rights concerns that continue to emerge surrounding MAID in Canada. Panelists will explore the following questions, among others: Has the Supreme Court’s decision in Carter been properly understood and implemented? Does Canada’s current MAID framework pass constitutional scrutiny, particularly under s. 7 and s. 15 of the Charter? How should contentious cases or compliance concerns be reviewed and addressed? How do professional and conscientious objections fit in Canada’s MAID framework? What are the government's obligations in relation to MAID, MAID MD-SUMC, providing healthcare supports and alternatives, and ensuring oversight of MAID cases?


Professor Kerri Froc, University of New Brunswick (Fredericton, NB)
Professor Daphne Gilbert, University of Ottawa (Ottawa, ON)
Professor Mary Shariff, University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB)
Professor Jonas-Sébastien Beaudry, McGill University (Montréal, QC)

Garifalia Milousis, The Acacia Group (Ottawa, ON)




Pauline Tennent, PhD  (she/her/hers)

Manager, Centre for Human Rights Research 

442 Robson Hall

University of Manitoba

Winnipeg, MB  Canada R3T 2N2



Tel: 204.474.6156


The University of Manitoba campuses are located on the original lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.