Alberta approves rules, clears path for physician-assisted dying

Alberta has approved final regulations that clear the way for physician-assisted death.

Physicians and patients covered by safeguards, says health minister

Alberta has approved regulations for physician-assisted dying. (University of Calgary)

Alberta has approved final regulations that clear the way for physician-assisted death.

Associate health minister Brandy Payne says it's important to give Albertans reassurance that their needs will be met while the federal government finalizes its legislation.

Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne. (CBC)

She says there are sufficient safeguards for physicians who don't want to perform the procedure, while making sure that patients get the support they need.

The rules mandate that anyone who wants medical assistance in dying must be at least 18 and have a "grievous and irremediable medical condition."

They must be mentally capable of making a decision on their own health, make a voluntary request for the assistance and give informed consent to have it carried out.

Any doctor who is asked by a patient to assist in their death may decline on reasons of religion or conscience, but must ensure the patient has access to others who can carry out the request.