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On February 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) struck down the federal prohibition on physician-assisted dying, confirming that the law violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Two weeks ago, the Superior Court of Justice issued a Practice Advisory to provide guidance on how an application should be brought to the Superior Court for Judicial Authorization of Physician Assisted Death.

The application should be brought under Rule 14 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. The application record should include a notice of application, and affidavits from each of the following people:

  1. The applicant
  2. The attending physician
  3. The applicant’s consulting psychiatrist
  4. The physician who is proposed to be the physician authorized to assist death.

The date of the application shall be fixed by the registrar, not being earlier than 15 days after the application is commenced, and not being later than 30 days after the application is commenced. Certain applications may be heard on an emergency basis, depending on the circumstances.

At the time of filing the application, the relief being sought must be brought to the attention of the registrar so that a hearing date within the time periods, or sooner, can be fixed.

The applicant may also wish to set out within the Notice of Application whether they seek to have a publication ban.

The full Practice Advisory is available on the Superior Court of Justice website here.

To read more on assisted death, see our previous blog post on Living Wills.

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2021 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

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