Province seeks public input on physician-assisted death policies

The Alberta Government is seeking the input to help develop policies to protect the interests of patients, health-care workers and vulnerable individuals in response to the Supreme Court of Canada ruling that physician-assisted death will be a legal right in some cases as of June 6, 2016. An online survey will be accepting feedback until March 31, 2016.

The following message was released by the government on Feb. 29, 2016.

Province seeks public input on physician-assisted death policies
February 29, 2016

The Government of Alberta is seeking the input of Albertans to help develop policies to protect the interests of patients, health-care workers and vulnerable individuals in response to the Supreme Court of Canada ruling that physician-assisted death will be a legal right in some cases as of June 6, 2016.

“As the government determines what changes are needed to align with the Supreme Court decision, we want to consult with Albertans. I am very pleased that Associate Minister of Health Brandy Payne, along with Dr. David Swann and Dr. Bob Turner, have agreed to hear from Albertans on this sensitive and deeply personal issue.” – Sarah Hoffman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health

The Advisory Committee on Physician-Assisted Death is tasked with seeking input from Albertans on topics such as age eligibility, location and type of services, advanced directives, reflection period, and whether publicly-funded institutions may opt out. The Committee will engage with stakeholder groups, health-care providers and advocates, and members of the public.

All Albertans are encouraged to share their views via an online survey by March 31, 2016.

“This consultation will consider important and sensitive issues around how we can provide access to physician-assisted death, while protecting vulnerable Albertans and respecting the rights of physicians and other health professionals. We need input not just from legal and medical experts, but also from patients, families and caregivers.” – Brandy Payne, Associate Minister of Health

Alberta Health continues to work with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta and Alberta Health Services. The federal government is responsible for making any changes to the Criminal Code needed in response to the Court’s decision. Each province and territory is responsible for deciding how, when and where physician-assisted death will be provided within this context.

For more information on the consultation, visit health.alberta.ca.

Related information
Take the survey
Physician-assisted death questions and answers
Options for end-of-life decisions
CPSA Advice to Physicians
Reports
Supreme Court Ruling
Provincial Territorial Expert Advisory Group Final Report
Report of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Death

David Cournoyer
Communications Advisor
United Nurses of Alberta
www.una.ab.ca

Office: 780 425 1025
Mobile: 780 913 1563