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12 faith-based Saskatoon facilities can opt out of physician-assisted dying

The number of Manitobans receiving medically assisted deaths has increased significantly since the service became legalized. Staff Files / Global News

The Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) has approved a physician-assisted dying policy that will allow 12 faith-based facilities to opt out.

The SHR’s board passed the policy on Wednesday, which provides guidelines on medically-assisted dying and on how facilities should handle patient requests.

READ MORE: Assisted dying law legal challenge to be joined by excluded Canadians

It will allow facilities such as St. Paul’s Catholic Hospital to object to the practice.

Patients in the 12 faith-based facilities who want to request physician-assisted dying would be relocated to another facility.

Evert Van Olst, a lawyer with the health region, says the policy strikes a balance between individual rights and respecting individual and institutional conscientious objections.

READ MORE: Religious leaders in Saskatchewan concerned about assisted dying policies

The SHR serves around 350,000 people in more than 100 communities and has a budget of about $1.2 billion.

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