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Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

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Act current to 2019-07-01 and last amended on 2019-06-21. Previous Versions

PART VIIIOffences Against the Person and Reputation (continued)

Murder, Manslaughter and Infanticide (continued)

Marginal note:Punishment for infanticide

 Every female person who commits infanticide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 220

Marginal note:Killing unborn child in act of birth

  •  (1) Every one who causes the death, in the act of birth, of any child that has not become a human being, in such a manner that, if the child were a human being, he would be guilty of murder, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.

  • Marginal note:Saving

    (2) This section does not apply to a person who, by means that, in good faith, he considers necessary to preserve the life of the mother of a child, causes the death of that child.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 221

Marginal note:Attempt to commit murder

  •  (1) Every person who attempts by any means to commit murder is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

    • (a) if a restricted firearm or prohibited firearm is used in the commission of the offence or if any firearm is used in the commission of the offence and the offence is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of

      • (i) in the case of a first offence, five years, and

      • (ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, seven years;

    • (a.1) in any other case where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and

    • (b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

  • Marginal note:Subsequent offences

    (2) In determining, for the purpose of paragraph (1)(a), whether a convicted person has committed a second or subsequent offence, if the person was earlier convicted of any of the following offences, that offence is to be considered as an earlier offence:

    • (a) an offence under this section;

    • (b) an offence under subsection 85(1) or (2) or section 244 or 244.2; or

    • (c) an offence under section 220, 236, 272 or 273, subsection 279(1) or section 279.1, 344 or 346 if a firearm was used in the commission of the offence.

    However, an earlier offence shall not be taken into account if 10 years have elapsed between the day on which the person was convicted of the earlier offence and the day on which the person was convicted of the offence for which sentence is being imposed, not taking into account any time in custody.

  • Marginal note:Sequence of convictions only

    (3) For the purposes of subsection (2), the only question to be considered is the sequence of convictions and no consideration shall be given to the sequence of commission of offences or whether any offence occurred before or after any conviction.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 239
  • 1995, c. 39, s. 143
  • 2008, c. 6, s. 16
  • 2009, c. 22, s. 6

Marginal note:Accessory after fact to murder

 Every one who is an accessory after the fact to murder is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 223

Suicide

Marginal note:Counselling or aiding suicide

  •  (1) Everyone is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years who, whether suicide ensues or not,

    • (a) counsels a person to die by suicide or abets a person in dying by suicide; or

    • (b) aids a person to die by suicide.

  • Marginal note:Exemption for medical assistance in dying

    (2) No medical practitioner or nurse practitioner commits an offence under paragraph (1)(b) if they provide a person with medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.2.

  • Marginal note:Exemption for person aiding practitioner

    (3) No person is a party to an offence under paragraph (1)(b) if they do anything for the purpose of aiding a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide a person with medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.2.

  • Marginal note:Exemption for pharmacist

    (4) No pharmacist who dispenses a substance to a person other than a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner commits an offence under paragraph (1)(b) if the pharmacist dispenses the substance further to a prescription that is written by such a practitioner in providing medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.2.

  • Marginal note:Exemption for person aiding patient

    (5) No person commits an offence under paragraph (1)(b) if they do anything, at another person’s explicit request, for the purpose of aiding that other person to self-administer a substance that has been prescribed for that other person as part of the provision of medical assist­ance in dying in accordance with section 241.2.

  • Marginal note:Clarification

    (5.1) For greater certainty, no social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, medical practitioner, nurse practitioner or other health care professional commits an offence if they provide information to a person on the lawful provision of medical assistance in dying.

  • Marginal note:Reasonable but mistaken belief

    (6) For greater certainty, the exemption set out in any of subsections (2) to (5) applies even if the person invoking the exemption has a reasonable but mistaken belief about any fact that is an element of the exemption.

  • Marginal note:Definitions

    (7) In this section, medical assistance in dying, medical practitioner, nurse practitioner and pharmacist have the same meanings as in section 241.1.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 241
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 7
  • 2016, c. 3, s. 3

Medical Assistance in Dying

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this section and in sections 241.2 to 241.4.

medical assistance in dying

medical assistance in dying means

  • (a) the administering by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner of a substance to a person, at their request, that causes their death; or

  • (b) the prescribing or providing by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner of a substance to a person, at their request, so that they may self-administer the substance and in doing so cause their own death. (aide médicale à mourir)

medical practitioner

medical practitioner means a person who is entitled to practise medicine under the laws of a province. (médecin)

nurse practitioner

nurse practitioner means a registered nurse who, under the laws of a province, is entitled to practise as a nurse practitioner — or under an equivalent designation — and to autonomously make diagnoses, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe substances and treat patients. (infirmier praticien)

pharmacist

pharmacist means a person who is entitled to practise pharmacy under the laws of a province. (pharmacien)

  • 2016, c. 3, s. 3

Marginal note:Eligibility for medical assistance in dying

  •  (1) A person may receive medical assistance in dying only if they meet all of the following criteria:

    • (a) they are eligible — or, but for any applicable minimum period of residence or waiting period, would be eligible — for health services funded by a government in Canada;

    • (b) they are at least 18 years of age and capable of making decisions with respect to their health;

    • (c) they have a grievous and irremediable medical condition;

    • (d) they have made a voluntary request for medical assistance in dying that, in particular, was not made as a result of external pressure; and

    • (e) they give informed consent to receive medical assistance in dying after having been informed of the means that are available to relieve their suffering, including palliative care.

  • Marginal note:Grievous and irremediable medical condition

    (2) A person has a grievous and irremediable medical condition only if they meet all of the following criteria:

    • (a) they have a serious and incurable illness, disease or disability;

    • (b) they are in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability;

    • (c) that illness, disease or disability or that state of decline causes them enduring physical or psychological suffering that is intolerable to them and that cannot be relieved under conditions that they consider acceptable; and

    • (d) their natural death has become reasonably foreseeable, taking into account all of their medical circumstances, without a prognosis necessarily having been made as to the specific length of time that they have remaining.

  • Marginal note:Safeguards

    (3) Before a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner provides a person with medical assistance in dying, the medical practitioner or nurse practitioner must

    • (a) be of the opinion that the person meets all of the criteria set out in subsection (1);

    • (b) ensure that the person’s request for medical assist­ance in dying was

      • (i) made in writing and signed and dated by the person or by another person under subsection (4), and

      • (ii) signed and dated after the person was informed by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner that the person has a grievous and irremediable medical condition;

    • (c) be satisfied that the request was signed and dated by the person — or by another person under subsection (4) — before two independent witnesses who then also signed and dated the request;

    • (d) ensure that the person has been informed that they may, at any time and in any manner, withdraw their request;

    • (e) ensure that another medical practitioner or nurse practitioner has provided a written opinion confirming that the person meets all of the criteria set out in subsection (1);

    • (f) be satisfied that they and the other medical practitioner or nurse practitioner referred to in paragraph (e) are independent;

    • (g) ensure that there are at least 10 clear days between the day on which the request was signed by or on behalf of the person and the day on which the medical assistance in dying is provided or — if they and the other medical practitioner or nurse practitioner referred to in paragraph (e) are both of the opinion that the person’s death, or the loss of their capacity to provide informed consent, is imminent — any shorter period that the first medical practitioner or nurse practitioner considers appropriate in the circumstances;

    • (h) immediately before providing the medical assist­ance in dying, give the person an opportunity to withdraw their request and ensure that the person gives express consent to receive medical assistance in dying; and

    • (i) if the person has difficulty communicating, take all necessary measures to provide a reliable means by which the person may understand the information that is provided to them and communicate their decision.

  • Marginal note:Unable to sign

    (4) If the person requesting medical assistance in dying is unable to sign and date the request, another person — who is at least 18 years of age, who understands the nature of the request for medical assistance in dying 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 do so in the person’s presence, on the person’s behalf and under the person’s express direction.

  • Marginal note:Independent witness

    (5) Any person who is at least 18 years of age and who understands the nature of the request for medical assist­ance in dying may act as an independent witness, except if they

    • (a) 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;

    • (b) are 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;

    • (c) are directly involved in providing health care serv­ices to the person making the request; or

    • (d) directly provide personal care to the person making the request.

  • Marginal note:Independence — medical practitioners and nurse practitioners

    (6) The medical practitioner or nurse practitioner providing medical assistance in dying and the medical practitioner or nurse practitioner who provides the opinion referred to in paragraph (3)(e) are independent if they

    • (a) are not a mentor to the other practitioner or responsible for supervising their work;

    • (b) do 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, other than standard compensation for their services relating to the request; or

    • (c) do not know or believe that they are connected to the other practitioner or to the person making the request in any other way that would affect their objectivity.

  • Marginal note:Reasonable knowledge, care and skill

    (7) Medical assistance in dying must be provided with reasonable knowledge, care and skill and in accordance with any applicable provincial laws, rules or standards.

  • Marginal note:Informing pharmacist

    (8) The medical practitioner or nurse practitioner who, in providing medical assistance in dying, prescribes or obtains a substance for that purpose must, before any pharmacist dispenses the substance, inform the pharmacist that the substance is intended for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:Clarification

    (9) For greater certainty, nothing in this section compels an individual to provide or assist in providing medical assistance in dying.

  • 2016, c. 3, s. 3
 
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