New Ontario Legislation on MAID protects families, healthcare providers

December 7th, 2016 – Earlier this year, CARP surveyed its members about their wishes and opinions related to end-of-life care and medical assistance in dying. Close to 3,000 members responded. You can read the results of the survey here.

The Ontario government has listened to families and introduced legislation on MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying). If passed, it will give more protection and clarity for patients, their families and their healthcare providers. This will be the first complete provincial MAID legislation since it became law on June 17th.

Although Federal legislation was passed in June 2016, Ontario’s proposed Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act addresses areas that fall under provincial legislation.

The Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act would ensure:

• Benefits, such as insurance payouts and workplace safety benefits, are not denied only because of a medically assisted death

• Health care professionals and those who assist them are protected from civil liability when lawfully providing medical assistance in dying

• Health care providers and facilities that provide medical assistance in dying have their privacy protected

• There will continue to be effective reporting and monitoring of medical assistance in dying cases.

In addition to the existing Clinician Referral Service, the province will also work to establish a care coordination service to assist patients and caregivers in accessing additional information and services for medical assistance in dying and other end-of-life options.

Ontario has also developed information, tools and training to support patients, health care providers and health care facilities on medical assistance in dying related matters.

Quick Facts

• Ontario’s health regulatory colleges for physicians, nurses and pharmacists provide additional guidance to help health care professionals provide appropriate medical assistance in dying.

• Ontario has established a Clinician Referral Service to support physicians in making an effective referral for patient consultation and assessment for possible medical assistance in dying cases.

• Ontario’s approach to medical assistance in dying has also been informed by public consultations, with thousands of Ontarians, health care providers and stakeholders sharing their views through in-person and online consultations.

• Ontario is investing $75 million over three years to improve community-based palliative and end-of-life care. Ontario is developing a comprehensive strategy on end-of-life care that will focus on ensuring access to coordinated palliative care where patients want it and supporting families and caregivers.

Additional Resources
Details on medical assistance in dying
Information for health care providers
The Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act