Since the late nineteenth century, debate has unfolded over the use of euthanasia and physician-assisted death to alleviate the suffering of individuals with medical illnesses. The controversy surrounding the issue persists and its implications are significant. While most countries prohibit Aid in Dying (AID), legalization of the practice has expanded globally in recent years. Canada and the United States (US) are two such jurisdictions that have expanded access to AID. Canada has federally legalized the practice, which the country refers to as Medical Aid in Dying (MAID), and in 2021, the country expanded the eligibility criteria for individuals seeking access MAID. Today, an individual in Canada is eligible for MAID even if a natural death is not “reasonably foreseeable.” In contrast, the US prohibits the practice on the federal level but allows states to legalize it as they wish. While the list of states allowing the practice has grown, currently, only eleven US jurisdictions allow some form of AID. This Note analyzes the current AID legal regime in the US and Canada and compares the different approaches that each country has taken. It then argues that the US should borrow elements from the Canadian model by expanding access to AID services on the federal level, allowing federal funding to be used for AID services in states that have legalized the practice, and standardizing reporting requirements.
Embracing the End: A Comparative Analysis of Medical Aid in Dying in Canada and the United States,
48 Brook. J. Int'l L.
Available at: https://brooklynworks.brooklaw.edu/bjil/vol48/iss1/7
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