Canada: Committee Urges Govt To Extend Assisted Suicide To ‘Mature Minors’

Detail / Close up of medical syringe, Macro photography, needle only, with a droplet
Getty Images

A Canadian parliamentary committee has recommended the government expand its assisted suicide policies to allow “mature minors” to seek medical assistance to end their lives.

The parliamentary committee put out a report with 23 recommendations for the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, among them a call to allow “mature minors” to seek Medical Assistance in Dying, known as MAiD in Canada.

The report does, however, suggest that the children who undergo assisted suicide should only do so if their natural death is “reasonably foreseeable” the National Post newspaper reports.

Members so the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) expressed dissent in the report on the subject of allowing children to seek MAiD and stated they could not back all of the recommendations in the report.

Other recommendations from the committee include calling on the government to look into the views of minors themselves on the topic of assisted suicide and their personal experiences.

Earlier this month, the Trudeau government moved to delay an expansion to MAiD that would have allowed people only suffering from mental illnesses to seek out assisted suicide.

Justice Minister David Lametti, who has previously directly compared MAiD to suicide, claimed the year-long delay was needed to “ensure that we move forward on this sensitive and complex issue in a prudent and measured way.”

“It will provide time to help provincial and territorial partners and the medical and nursing communities to prepare to deliver MAiD in these circumstances,” he said and added, “the safety of Canadians just comes first.”

This week’s committee report also endorsed the proposed delay and called for another parliamentary committee to be created five months prior to the end of the delay in March of 2024.

Canada has become one of the leaders in assisted suicide globally in recent years, with as many as 3.3 per cent of all deaths in Canada in 2021 caused by MAiD. In provinces like Quebec and British Columbia, MAID accounted for around 5 per cent of all deaths that year.

Canada is also harvesting the organs of those killed and has become the number one country for harvesting organs from those who have undergone assisted suicide procedures in the world.

According to a report published in December of 2022, Canada accounted for half of the organs harvested from those who underwent assistance in death and were transplanted into others. MAiD accounted for six per cent of all transplanted from deceased donors in 2021.

“I was rather proud that Canada has done so well in terms of organ donation by MAID patients,” Arthur Schafer, director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba said.

MAiD has also seen several controversies in recent months, including reports of veterans being recommended assisted suicide to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and one veteran having MAiD suggested because she was not able to get a chair lift installed in her home.

Others have reported seeing people request information about MAiD not for reasons of health but rather due to poverty, with a food bank director in Mississauga near Toronto claiming to have heard clients considering assisted suicide as food bank usage has soared.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.