Annual Report 2016 - Page 18

IMPROVING Maureen Taylor @maureentaylor31 May 2016 No panic. Excellent guidelines from @cpso_ca could be used as a model after June 6. Medical Assistance in Dying T hroughout 2016, the College was deeply engaged in the issue of medical assistance in dying. In order to ensure the College could provide guidance and direction to physicians during a shifting legal landscape, three policy documents were approved by Council over the first several months of 2016. Our guidance makes it clear that while physicians do not have to assist their patient in dying, they still have a responsibility to their patient. If a physician declines to assist a patient in dying for reasons of conscience or religion, they must provide an effective referral. This means making a timely refer- ral to a non-objecting, available, and accessible physician or agency. The objecting physician is not obliged to assess whether the patient meets the criteria for physician-assisted death before making an effective referral. 18 COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS OF ONTARIO