FACT CHECK: Does Canada Provide Assisted Suicide To Minors?

Joseph Casieri | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Instagram purports Canadian law allows for medical assistance in dying (MAiD) options for those under the age of 18.

Verdict: Misleading

Canada does not currently allow minors to apply for MAiD. The Parliament is currently studying an extension of the law that could include the age group.

Fact Check:

Canada expanded the criteria for MAiD-related decisions in March 2021 that allowed for those that only had a mental disorder that was causing suffering as long as they met all criteria, according to NPR. However, the program has been met with major criticism for how it handles requests for MAiD, The Associated Press reported.

The Instagram image purport Canadian law allows people under the age of 18 to seek MAiD without parental consent.  The video features political commentator Gavin McInnes making the claim.

“Not only is Canada killing 27 people a day for things like loneliness, skin allergies, depression,” McInnes claims. “They’re doing it to people under 18…kids.” (RELATED: Did Elon Musk Publish This Tweet Saying He Would Be Deleting Twitter?)

Canadian law, as it stands today, does not provide minors with this option. There are several criteria a person must satisfy before being delegable to apply the first of which is, they must, “be 18 years of age or older and have decision-making capacity.”

There has been discussion about changing the criteria to allow “mature minors” to apply for MAiD as of March 2021. The Associated Press reported that the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying is expected to release a report in February 2023 on the topic.

As of now, however, the law has not been expanded nor are there any credible news report that suggests Canadian law had been changed at any point before February 2023 allowing minors to seek out euthanasia.

This is not the first time false information regarding medically-assisted suicide has spread on social media. Check Your Fact previously debunked a claim from September 2020 alleging that the state of Hawaii purchased 30 suicide-assistance pods.

Joseph Casieri

Fact Check Reporter