Amendments to the Civil Code of Québec's Research Provisions: A Legislative Comment
McGill Journal of Law and Health, Vol. 8, 2015
32 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2015 Last revised: 7 Aug 2015
Date Written: February 1, 2015
On 14 June 2013, Québec’s National Assembly passed Bill 30, an Act to amend the Civil Code and other legislative provisions with respect to research, which entered into force the same day. Bill 30 amended research provisions in the Civil Code of Québec (CCQ) pertaining to research, specifically articles 20-22, 24, and 25, as well as a section of the Act respecting health services and social services, modifying a complaint mechanism for research participants and their heirs or legal representatives. The goal of Bill 30 was to eliminate confusion surrounding the provisions and remove a number of barriers to research activities in Québec – particularly where the research presented minimal risk to participants – so that the scientific community could investigate important research questions. The CCQ amendments are welcome in many respects, foremost because they bring much-needed revision to an anachronistic section of the Code that reflected a twentieth-century research environment. Replacing the term “experiment” with “research,” for example, is to be applauded. The amendments also warrant criticism, however, and in this legislative comment we critically discuss both the improvements and missed opportunities that Bill 30 presents, particularly in the con- text of biomedical research.
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