The Criminal Code specifies that, in the context of a MAID request, the medical practitioner providing MAID and the medical practitioner providing the opinion are independent if they:
- are not a mentor to the other practitioner or responsible for supervising their work;
- 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; and
- 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.
The physician who assesses the patient, in a hospital, for instance, may be accompanied by their resident or a physician in training for MAID. What matters is that the physician providing the second opinion is independent of the first within the wording of the Criminal Code. Furthermore, it is important to specify that the opinion of the second physician must be objective and impartial and must not be influenced by his or her personal convictions. “A doctor whose personal convictions of a moral or religious nature prevent them from participating in the MAID process should refrain from participating in this second consultation.”
– Guide d’exercice et lignes directrices pharmacologiques, Collège des médecins du Québec, updated in November 2017.