Urge the government to include the duty to refer in Bill 84 (MAID)
When federal Bill C-14 received royal assent last June, medical assistance in dying (MAID) became a legal service that must be available and delivered in accordance with the law. RNAO respects the rights of individual health professionals and institutions to conscientiously object to MAID and believes they should not be forced to provide assisted dying services. In such situations, RNAO believes health professionals have a duty to refer patients, to ensure they can access MAID in a timely manner and in accordance with the law. Thus, RNAO urges the province to amend Bill 84, Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment to include “a duty to refer” for physicians and nurse practitioners who have a conscientious objection to MAID. We presented this recommendation before the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs on March 23, 2017.
MAID is a very sensitive topic, and many health professionals feel strongly in favour or against it. However, Ontarians have the right to access this health service as part of our publicly funded health system. Bill 84 is an important piece of legislation, yet it does not address how to proceed when health practitioners have conscientious objections. This important issue cannot remain absent from Bill 84. If not addressed, patients will bear the consequences when their needs cannot be met due to a health professional’s conscientious objection. There is still time to correct this crucial omission.
Tell Health Minister Eric Hoskins the duty to refer needs to be included in Bill 84.
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