Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 2 2017 - Page 33

MAiD Bill 84 provides clarity, protection for patients, health-care providers Supports implementation of medical assistance in dying Dr. David Rouselle, College President, appeared in front of the Standing Committee I n May, 2017 Ontario passed legislation that will support the implementation of medical assistance in dying by providing more protection and greater clarity for patients, their families and their health-care professionals. Federal legislation, passed in June 2016, guides how medical assistance in dying is to be lawfully provided. The province’s Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act aligns with the federal medical assistance in dying legislation while addressing areas relevant to MAiD that fall under provincial jurisdiction. At the end of March, College President, Dr. David Rouselle, appeared in front of the Standing Committee on Finance and Eco- nomic Affairs, and expressed general support of the then proposed legislation. “The Col- lege strongly supports Bill 84 … It provides important clarity and protections on a range of issues that fall under provincial legislation. It demonstrates respect for patient autonomy and access to care, two goals which have underpinned the College’s work on MAiD,” he said. The Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act amends: Coroner’s Act The amendments clarify the Coroner’s role in relation to MAiD cases. Previously, the Ontario Coroner’s office was required to be notified of all medically assisted deaths in the province and had to investigate all circum- stances involving MAiD. Under the Bill 84 amendments, the Coroner will now be given notice of a MAiD death, however, he or she would have the discretion to determine whether it is necessary to investigate. This amendment will help to balance the Coroner’s reporting functions while lessening the intru- sion on patients and their families during a challenging time. Vital Statistics Act Amendments to the Vital Statistics Act com- Issue 2, 2017 Dialogue 33