June 6, 2016 - In February 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down subsection 241(1) of the Criminal Code on the grounds that prohibiting physician assistance in death violates an individual’s Charter rights to life, liberty and security of the person. The Court gave until June 6, 2016 to allow the provincial and federal governments and regulatory bodies time to develop a legislative and regulatory framework that would provide clarity on the appropriate safeguards and requirements.
Although the federal government has introduced legislation to provide a framework for medical assistance in dying, it will not be approved in time for the June 6 deadline. In the absence of federal or provincial legislation, medical assistance in dying will be regulated through policy created by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
The OMA looks forward to the development of a legal framework that will regulate medical assistance in dying in order to provide much-needed clarity on this complex and sensitive issue.
Dr.Virginia M. Walley
Ontario Medical Association
The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) represents more than 41,000 physicians and medical students across the province. Ontario’s doctors work closely with patients to encourage healthy living practices and illness prevention. In addition to delivering front-line services to patients, Ontario’s doctors play a significant role in helping shape health care policy, as well as implementing initiatives that strengthen and enhance Ontario’s health care system.
For more information, please contact:
Danielle Milley, Senior Advisor Media Relations
Office: 416-599-2580 ext. 3008 or 1-800-268-7215 ext. 3008