Medical Assistance in Dying
On February 6, 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous Carter decision ruled that certain patients have a right to seek medical help to end their lives. Canada’s federal medical assistance in dying legislation, Bill C-14, was enacted on June 17, 2016.
The College’s Professional Standard Regarding Medical Assistance in Dying is in alignment with Bill C-14. The Standard was developed through consultation with stakeholders and physicians throughout the province.
- CPSNS Medical Assistance in Dying FAQs for Physicians (PDF – 3 pages)
Eligible patients are able to access medical assistance in dying (MAID) through the Nova Scotia Health Authority. Physicians are asked to contact the office of the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s Vice President of Medicine at 902-491-5892 if they have questions or receive a specific request for medical assistance in dying.
In October and November 2016, the College and Doctors Nova Scotia held information sessions for physicians to review the College’s Professional Standard Regarding Medical Assistance in Dying. A representative from the Nova Scotia Health Authority was also in attendance to answer questions regarding the delivery of medical assistance in dying (MAID).
A total of 5 information sessions were delivered:
- October 3, 2016 – Truro (Colchester East Hants Health Centre)
- October 4, 2016 – Sydney (Cape Breton Regional Hospital)
- October 6, 2016 – Yarmouth (Yarmouth Regional Hospital)
- October 18, 2016 – Halifax (QEII – Halifax Infirmary)
- November 9, 2016 – Bridgewater (South Shore Regional Hospital)
Nova Scotia Health Authority Resources
- For the public: Frequently asked questions
- For doctors and nurse practitioners: Frequently asked questions
- For care professionals: Frequently asked questions
- Medical assistance in dying: documentation and procedure checklist
- Request for and consent to medical assistance in dying
Completion of Death Certificate
In cases where medical assistance in dying services were provided, physicians are asked to contact Vital Statistics regarding completion of a medical death certificate.
Phone: (902) 424-4381
Toll-free: 1-877-848-2578 (within Nova Scotia)
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has developed resources regarding medical assistance in dying:
- Two new cases within the College’s bio-ethics curriculum
- A workshop for residents, and the update of past bioethics cases due to new legislation
The Canadian Medical Association has developed the following educational offerings on end-of-life care and medical assistance in dying:
- Foundational online module on medical assistance in dying
- Advanced face-to-face course on end-of-life care and medical assistance in dying