Regulations for Monitoring Medical Assistance in Dying Come into Force
The regulations will come into force November 1, 2018
August 9, 2018 - Ottawa, ON - Health Canada
The Government of Canada recognizes that medical assistance in dying is a deeply personal issue for all Canadians and must be addressed with the utmost compassion and empathy. It is critically important to monitor how the legislation is being implemented across the country to understand how the wishes of eligible patients are being carried out, and to protect the most vulnerable. Public reporting in this area is key to ensuring transparency and fostering public trust.
Today, the Government of Canada published final regulations in Canada Gazette, Part II that create a federal pan-Canadian monitoring system on medical assistance in dying. The regulations set out reporting requirements for physicians and nurse practitioners who receive written requests for medical assistance in dying, and for pharmacists who dispense medication for assisted dying. Any personal data collected will be protected under the federal Privacy Act.
The information will be used to publish annual reports on medical assistance in dying in Canada, including the number of requests received, the number of medically assisted deaths and the number of people found ineligible. The regulations come into force on November 1, 2018, and providers have until that date to become familiar with the new reporting requirements.
Health Canada expects to continue to produce interim reports until the permanent monitoring and reporting system is operational. Annual federal reporting using the data collected under the Regulations is expected to begin in 2019.
"Medical assistance in dying is a sensitive, complex issue and many Canadians have deeply-held views on the subject. We are committed to ensuring that Canadians who choose medical assistance in dying have access to these services. These regulations promote transparency and will help us monitor how this service is being implemented across the country."
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
On June 17, 2016, Parliament passed legislation that allows eligible Canadian adults to request medical assistance in dying. This legislation is now part of the Criminal Code and exempts physicians and nurse practitioners from certain criminal offences if they provide or assist in providing medical assistance in dying according to the eligibility requirements and safeguards in the law.
There have been 3,714 medically assisted deaths in Canada since the legislation was enacted.
Medically assisted deaths account for approximately 1.07% of all deaths nationally according to the latest data. Overall, the numbers are consistent with international experience.
The majority of Canadians who received assistance in dying were between 56 and 90 years old. The average age was approximately 73 years old.
- Backgrounder: Regulations for Monitoring Medical Assistance in Dying
- Medical assistance in dying
- End-of-life care
- Interim Update on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada
- 2nd Interim Report on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada
- Third Interim Report on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada
- What We Heard Report: Responses to public consultation on the proposed Monitoring of Medical Assistance in Dying Regulations
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
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