Four Nova Scotians are currently being assessed for doctor-assisted dying access, the Nova Scotia Health Authority confirmed Friday.
In an email to Global News, NSHA spokesperson John Gillis said the authority has received seven requests, and that four of those patients are continuing through the “assessment/consideration stages.”
The three other patients are “no longer current,” Gillis said.
Gillis added the organization isn’t aware of any court orders issued for doctors who have facilitated assisted dying in the four months leading up to the June 6 deadline, where the federal government aimed to establish legislation across the country.
The authority said officials aren’t aware of any cases since Monday’s deadline passed.
The Criminal Code of Canada no longer prevents a medical professional from helping a patient end their life.
Nurses, pharmacists express concern
Gillis said that given that the Carter Decision doesn’t address criminal liability for health professionals other than doctors, there are growing concerns among pharmacists, nurses and other health care professionals.
The NSHA sais that it would be difficult to allow other medical professionals to take part in providing assisted death to a patient, considering the lack of legislation and input from prosecution services.
Gillis said the authority is exploring alternatives, but didn’t have specifics to offer at the time.