Guidance for reporting on medical assistance in dying - Summary

On March 17, 2021, the Government announced changes to the MAID law, which came into effect immediately. This includes changes to the framework for collection of data on MAID in Canada. This means changes must be made to the Regulations for the Monitoring of MAID to align with the new legislation and collect the required information. Updating the Regulations will require extensive consultation and is expected to take up to 2 years (i.e., by spring 2023) before reporting requirements are finalized and the regulations are in force.

Until new regulations are in force, there are no new/additional federal reporting requirements. Health care professionals should continue to report in accordance with this Guidance, with the immediate exceptions noted below that are a result of the new law.

Health care professionals should also consult with their professional regulatory bodies and provincial or territorial ministries of health to learn about any changes to non-federal reporting obligations for MAID.

Changes to Federal Reporting on MAID (for requests made after March 17, 2021):

When completing federal reporting forms for MAID, or using the online federal MAID Data Collection Portal, there are currently some questions that are no longer applicable or that are inconsistent with the new law.  Until the required changes are made to the federal Portal and forms, medical and nurse practitioners and pharmacists are asked to follow these instructions when completing the federal forms (online or paper format):

Figure - Text description

The chart contains three columns. Each column represents a section of the federal reporting requirements for medical assistance in dying, or, MAID, for which there are new instructions related to reporting obligations under those sections. The three identified sections of the federal reporting requirements are:

  • Section 3 - Eligibility Criteria and Other Information
    • Practitioners are encouraged to continue to respond to the question, "Had the patient's natural death become reasonably foreseeable, taking into account all of their medical circumstances?"
    • While a person's natural death being reasonably foreseeable is no longer an eligibility criterion for MAID, responses to this question will be collected to identify which safeguards a patient would fall under (i.e. safeguards designated for persons whose deaths are reasonably foreseeable and those whose deaths are not reasonably foreseeable).
    • Note: The new safeguards for persons who have requested MAID and whose deaths are not reasonably foreseeable will not be captured in the federal forms or online questionnaire until the new regulations come into force. However, as a matter of good medical practice and alignment with the new MAID law, practitioners should document in the patient's record (or as instructed by provincial or territorial ministries of health or regulatory bodies) how these new safeguards were satisfied.
  • Section 4 - Procedural Requirements - Providing MAID
    • Practitioners must now confirm that one independent witness has signed and dated the patient's official request for MAID. The current form incorrectly specifies that two independent witnesses signed the request. Practitioners should check this requirement if they met the one witness requirement. The reason for this is that the requirement for two witnesses was removed from the law.
    • Another change under Section 4: Procedural Requirements - Providing MAID, is that practitioners are no longer required to respond to the question, "They ensured there were at least 10 clear days between the day on which the request was signed by or on behalf of the patient and the day on which MAID was provided." The reason for this is that 10-day reflection period is no longer a procedural safeguard in the law.
    • This question, as well as the follow-up question regarding the reason for shortening the 10 days, should be left blank in a paper submission, or skipped in an electronic submission. Note: The online questionnaire will allow you to skip the follow-up question if you press "Next" after receiving the "Attention" pop-up box.
  • Section regarding reporting by Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians
    • Although the new law authorizes the expansion of federal reporting obligations to pharmacy technicians, those obligations only come into effect when the new regulations are in force.
    • Until then, pharmacists are asked to continue reporting as usual on the aspects of dispensing a substance for MAID that are required by the Regulations.

Overview

As of November 1, 2018, the Regulations for the Monitoring of Medical Assistance in Dying (the Regulations) require physicians, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists to provide information related to requests for, and the provision of, medical assistance in dying (MAID).

Important notice

This document is not part of the Criminal Code or the Regulations for the Monitoring of Medical Assistance in Dying. This document is an administrative document that is intended to facilitate reporting and is not intended to provide legal advice regarding the interpretation of the Code or Regulations. In the event of any inconsistency or conflict between the Code or the Regulations and this document, the Code or the Regulations take precedence. If a regulated party has questions about their legal obligations or responsibilities under the Code or the Regulations, they should seek the advice of legal counsel.

Who this guide is for

This guidance information is intended to support physicians, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists in fulfilling their responsibilities under the Regulations.

In this guide

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Download PDF (1543 KB, 17 pages)

Details and history

Published: October 26, 2018

Updated: February 15, 2019

Consulted: Not applicable

Part of topic(s): Guidance on Reporting for Medical Assistance in Dying, Medical Assistance in Dying

For assistance

For questions about the Regulations and this Guidance information

Contact us by mail:
End-of-life Care Unit
Strategic Policy Branch
Health Canada
200 Eglantine Driveway, 1904-D, Room 411A
Tunney’s Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Contact us by email:
hc.maid.report-rapport.amm.sc@canada.ca

Contact us by phone:
Officials are available Monday to Friday (except holidays) from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

Toll Free (Canada and United States): 1-833-219-5528

For technical assistance with the Canadian MAID Data Collection Portal

Contact us by mail:
Statistics Canada
Electronic Collection Services
Central Reception | SC-0505
150 Tunney's Pasture Driveway
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0T6

Contact us by e-mail:
infostats@canada.ca

Contact us by phone:
Agents are available Monday to Friday (except holidays) from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Toll-free (Canada and United States): 1-877-949-9492
Toll-free (other countries): refer to the list of other available countries
TTY (Toll-free): 1-855-382-7745

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