University of Saskatchewan changing how it teaches physician assisted death

Medical students at the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine to be taught legal and ethical parameters about physician assisted death. File / Globla News

The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) is changing the way it teaches medical students about physician assisted death.

The option is now available to Canadians, and the medical program has to reflect that.

READ MORE: All senators to get chance to propose amendments on Canada’s assisted-dying law

Students will be taught the legal and ethical parameters surrounding Saskatchewan guidelines, along with any legislation in the future.

The federal government’s assisted dying bill is still before the Senate, making it challenging to plan the medical curriculum at the U of S.

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“I think the fact that things are changing, that this is an option for patients, is something that we want to impart to students, but also have them recognize that it is fluid to some degree,” said Susan Hayton, law and ethics coordinator at the College of Medicine at the U of S.

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Once complete, the federal legislation could still be challenged in court.

A six-page policy from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan will soon take effect as the set of guidelines for doctor-assisted death in the province.

READ MORE: Guidelines begin for assisted dying in Sask. after federal deadline passes

The policy is strictly for guidance, not legal enforcement, according to Bryan Salte, legal counsel for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan.

If the federal government introduces legislation that is inconsistent with the policy, then doctors will need to adhere to the federal legislation.

With files from Ryan Kessler

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