Jan 26, 2016
By Michael Kramer
Ontario doctors are getting the go-ahead to offer their help in dying – to eligible patients within Canada who qualify for publicly funded health care – as the federal government works to legislate doctor-assisted death.
Ontario’s College of Physicians and Surgeons has approved interim guidelines for doctors who are approached by patients seeking assistance in ending their life before medically-assisted dying becomes legal in Canada on June 6th.
An earlier draft of the guidelines was amended – after 30 days of consultations with doctors and Ontario residents. The initial version limited physicians to providing the end of life service – only to Ontario residents.
Among other changes is a clarification that “conscientious objectors” are not required to assess whether a patient is eligible for doctor-assisted death – before referring them to another physician.
The Supreme Court found last year that Canadians with unbearable suffering – could be eligible to end their lives with a doctor’s aid.