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​Developing a Canadian approach to assisted dying

​The CMA welcomes federal law on medical assisted dying

The CMA was pleased that historic federal legislation on medical aid in dying was passed by Parliament in mid-June.

For the CMA, this important new law represents the culmination of years of work and consultation with physicians and the public. This extensive outreach informed the CMA’s call for robust federal legislation to ensure access is not impeded, vulnerable patients are protected and personal convictions of health care providers are protected.

With the legislation in place, the CMA is moving to have educational offerings available to help physicians understand and respond appropriately to the end-of-life care wishes of their patients. The CMA is also committed to continued study of this new legislation and its impact on patients.

In lauding the new legislation as being “a major milestone in Canada’s history”, the CMA also stressed that Canada had much work to do to improve access to palliative care for all Canadians who need it, no matter where they live. The CMA is hopeful that there will be a renewed focus on this critical issue and pledged to help ensure that happens.

Education on end-of-life care and medical assistance in dying

In order to provide our members with the information they need, the CMA has developed the following educational offerings:

  • Foundational online module:
    • to provide information on medical assistance in dying that may be of interest to all practising physicians, so they can (1) understand what is involved, (2) advise their patients and (3) make an informed decision about whether they should include this in their practice.
    • This module would not be expected to provide participants with the training needed to provide comprehensive care at the end of life or medical assistance in dying.
  • Advanced face-to-face course:
    • to provide comprehensive education on topics related to end-of-life care, as well as advanced practical training for physicians who are considering offering medical assistance in dying to their patients.
    • Course sessions will take place on September 15-17 in Vancouver and on November 3-5 in Toronto.
    • Completion of the online module is a pre-requisite for participation in the face-to-face course.

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