Updated Expectations in Medical Assistance in Dying Policy

A physician consults with a patient.

Three documents developed for easy reference

The Board has approved updated expectations and advice for physicians who provide medical assistance in dying (MAID). The guidance will help practitioners assess MAID requests in complex situations.  

To facilitate ease of reference for physicians, three distinct documents were approved by the Board – the Medical Assistance in Dying policy, which sets out physicians’ professional obligations; a legal requirements companion resource, which sets out physicians’ key legal obligations; and a companion Advice to the Profession document, which provides additional information and guidance on interpreting and applying physicians’ obligations.     

Here are 5 things to know:

  1. Legal requirements were revised to reflect legislative updates on reporting.
  2. A reminder was added that medications must only be dispensed under the patient’s name and that unused drugs are to be returned to the pharmacy or dispensing pysician for appropriate disposal. 
  3. The advice document was augmented with content from the Federal Model Standard (e.g., definitions and explanations of key components of the eligibility criteria for MAID).
  4. The definition of “reasonably foreseeable natural death” was revised to focus solely on the interpretation of the Superior Court.
  5. The policy reminds physicians who choose not to assess patients or provide MAID for reasons of conscience or religion to comply with the effective referral provisions in the recently approved Human Rights in the Provision of Health Services policy.