Ontario to create referral service, provide drugs at no cost for assisted dying
Kathleen Wynne says those seeking doctor assisted death now need to 'work through their doctor'
Ontario's health minister says the province will ensure that drugs for medically assisted dying will be available at no cost.
Eric Hoskins also says the province will establish a referral service that will connect physicians unwilling or unable to provide medically assisted dying with those who are willing to complete a patient's consultation and assessment on the matter.
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His comments come as a deadline passed for the federal government to come up with a new law on medically assisted dying.
As of today, medically assisted dying is now legal in Canada, governed by the eligibility criteria set out in a ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada last year, which struck down the ban on assisted dying as a violation of the charter right to life, liberty and security of the person.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, speaking with reporters at a transit-related news conference, said those seeking a doctor-assisted death in the province no longer need to go to court to get permission.
Instead, Wynne said, "they would have to work through their doctor."
Wynne said Ontario has protocols in place and officials have been working with College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario on the issue.
Hoskins says Ontario's health regulatory colleges will provide guidance to health-care providers on the matter.
Hoskins also urged the federal government to pass legislation on assisted dying as quickly as possible so a national framework could be established on the practice.
Liberal MP Adam Vaughan, who was at the event with Wynne Monday morning, said assisted dying remains a "complex and sensitive issue."
Vaughan said even when the federal government passes legislation on the issue — which it is expected to do soon — it will need to pay attention to the issue.
"We're going to have to have an evolving conversation," Vaughan told reporters.
with files from CBC News