Last updated on: 7/2/2018 | Author:

Jocelyn Downie, SJD, LLM, MLitt, MA Biography

Professor of Law at Dalhousie University
Pro to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"

“I would argue that in order to have the properly administered regulatory regime for medically assisted death called for by the Supreme Court of Canada in Carter, the following need to be established through federal, provincial, and territorial legislation and health professional self-regulation: definitions of some key incontestable terms; criteria for access to medically assisted death; processes for ensuring criteria have been met; access for rural and remote contexts, and in the face of conscientious objections by institutions and providers; and oversight.

Other issues that need to be addressed also include liability insurance; life insurance; medical certificates of death; good faith immunity; and, perhaps most importantly of all, access to palliative care.”

“Prof. Jocelyn Downie (Professor, Faculties of Law and Medicine, Dalhousie University, as an Individual) at the Physician-Assisted Dying Committee,”, Jan. 28, 2016

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Webmaster, End of Life Law & Policy in Canada website
  • Member, Board of Directors, Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, 2014-present
  • Associate Dean Graduate Studies, Faculty of Law, Dalhousie University, 2013-present
  • Chair, Board of Directors, Surdna Foundation, 2013-present
  • Member, Board of Directors, Surdna Foundation, 2007-present
  • Professor, Faculties of Law & Medicine, Dalhousie University, 2006-present
  • Faculty Associate, Health Law Institute, Dalhousie University, 2006-present
  • Member, Provincial Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying, 2015
  • Acting Director, Health Law Institute, Dalhousie University, Jan.-June 2013
  • Member, End of Life Experts Panel, Royal Society of Canada, 2009-2011
  • Associate Professor, Dalhousie University, 2001-2006
  • Director, Health Law Institute, Dalhousie University, 1996-2006
  • Assistant Professor, 1996-2001
  • Special Advisor, Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, 1994-1995
  • Law Clerk, Chief Justice Lamer, Supreme Court of Canada, 1993-1994
  • SJD, University of Michigan, 1999
  • LLM, University of Michigan, 1996
  • LLB, University of Toronto, 1993
  • MLitt, Philosophy, University of Cambridge, 1990
  • MA, Philosophy, Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada), 1985
  • BA, honors, Philosophy, Queens University (Kingston, Canada), 1984
  • Twitter handle: @jgdownie
Quoted in:
  1. Should Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Extended to People Who Are Not Terminally Ill?
  2. Would Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide or Voluntary Euthanasia Create a Slippery Slope to Non-Voluntary or Involuntary Euthanasia?