Backgrounder: Regulations for Monitoring Medical Assistance in Dying 


August 2018

Canada's federal legislation on medical assistance in dying was enacted on June 17, 2016. Since then, all levels of government have been working together to ensure medical assistance in dying is one of several end-of-life care options available to eligible Canadians.

Monitoring is considered to be a critical aspect of virtually all jurisdictions that permit some form of assisted dying. Reporting on the information collected through federal monitoring will support transparency in the application of the law by providing comparable data from across the country. It is expected that this reporting will also foster public trust in how the service is being implemented and delivered across Canada.

On November 1, 2018, regulations supporting a federal pan-Canadian monitoring system on medical assistance in dying will come into force. The regulations require health care providers who are authorized to provide medical assistance in dying to file reports to a designated recipient in their jurisdiction. These reports will:

  • Provide basic information about the individual who has made the request and the practitioner who is reporting;
  • Confirm that eligibility criteria and safeguards were met. If a patient was found ineligible, the reason(s) why will also be reported;
  • Include the timing and location of the service; and,
  • Meet prescribed deadlines for reporting, which are between 30-120 days depending upon the nature of the provider's involvement in the delivery of the service.

The following health care providers are required to file information for monitoring purposes:

  • Physicians or nurse practitioners who receive a patient's written request for medical assistance in dying.
  • Pharmacists who dispense a substance in connection with the provision of medical assistance in dying.

For many provinces/territories, Health Canada is the designated recipient. Health Canada is developing an online portal jointly with Statistics Canada that that will help make it easy to submit the required information and ensure that the all personal information is protected.

Some provinces and territories have a provincial or territorial level designated recipient who will collect the information and forward it to Health Canada. The following chart indicates the designated recipient for each province and territory.

Provinces and territories with a federal designated recipient (Health Canada)

Provinces and territories with their own designated recipient


Alberta (Minister of Health)

New Brunswick

British Columbia (Deputy Minister of Health)


Northwest Territories (Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services)

Nova Scotia

Nunavut (Minister of Health)

Prince Edward Island

Saskatchewan (Chief Executive Officer of the Saskatchewan Health Authority)





Ontario (hybrid- provide information to Health Canada in all cases NOT resulting in a MAID death)

Ontario (hybrid- provide information to the Chief Coroner of Ontario in all cases resulting in a MAID death)

The data will be used to produce annual reports on how the service is being provided across Canada, which will include:

  • Statistics on medical assistance in dying in Canada, including the number of requests, outcomes, medical circumstances and other general characteristics of those requesting and receiving medical assistance in dying;
  • The application of eligibility criteria and safeguards; and,
  • Trends in medical assistance in dying, as multi-year data become available.

No personal, identifiable information will be publicly released. The data collected will be subject to all applicable federal laws and policies related to the protection of personal information.

Additional information about who must provide information and in what circumstances is available on the Health Canada website.

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