May 2017

New legislation for medical assistance in dying

On May 9, 2017, the Ontario government passed legislation related to medical assistance in dying. It provides more protection for clients, their families, health care providers and health care institutions.

For instance, the new legislation specifies that physicians, NPs, and those who assist them are protected from civil liability when lawfully providing medical assistance when dying unless there is negligence.

It also clarifies when NPs and physicians can complete a medical certificate of death. The College has updated its Guidance on Nurses’ Roles in Medical Assistance in Dying document to reflect this (see page 7, Stage 3.3).

The new legislation follows the law that came into effect in June 2016, describing how medical assistance in dying can be provided.

For more information about the new legislation, read the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s news release.

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