Alberta seeks input on physician-assisted death guidelines
Three MLAs will gather input from Albertans on new guidelines for physician-assisted death, which must be legal in Canada as of June 6.
Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne, Liberal Leader David Swann and Edmonton NDP MLA Bob Turner will look at a number of issues to help the province formulate guidelines.
The committee will talk to stakeholder groups, medical professionals, patients, families and caregivers. The public can also provide input through an online survey.
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"The questionnaires focus mainly on three items: the who, the when and the where of physician-assisted dying ," Payne said. "Will this be open to minors? What kind of waiting period might there be as well as if the procedure is going to be available in all publicly-funded hospitals or if there will be restrictions allowed."
Covenant Health, the Catholic organization which operates hospitals and long-term care homes in Alberta, has already said it will not allow physicians working in its facilities to help patients end their lives.
The province is also discussing the issue with the College of Physicians and Surgeons and Alberta Health Services.
Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down a ban on physician-assisted dying in cases where a competent adult with a terminal medical condition that causes them enduring, intolerable suffering has given their clear consent.
The federal government was supposed to come up with a new law by Feb. 6 but the Supreme Court has granted a four-month extension.