Ontario Passes Legislation on Medical Assistance in Dying

Ontario passed legislation today that will support the implementation of medical assistance in dying in the province by providing more protection and greater clarity for patients, their families, health care providers and health care institutions.

Federal legislation, which came into force in June 2016, sets out the parameters for how medical assistance in dying can be provided. Ontario’s Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act aligns with the federal legislation and will address areas that fall under provincial jurisdiction.

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

Benefits, such as insurance payments and workplace safety and insurance benefits, are not denied only because of a medically assisted death
Physicians and nurse practitioners, those who assist them, and care provider institutions, are protected from civil liability when lawfully providing medical assistance in dying, except in cases of negligence
Identifiable information about individuals and facilities that provide medical assistance in dying are protected from disclosure under access to information requests
Effective ongoing reporting and monitoring by the Chief Coroner of Ontario for cases of medical assistance in dying.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will also be establishing 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 worked with many health care partners to develop information, tools and training to support patients, caregivers and health care providers on medical assistance in dying-related matters.