B.C. assisted dying review finds program working well, but room for improvement

New Brunswick legislation on medically assisted dying
Staff Files / Global News

A BC Coroners Service review panel has completed a review of medically assisted death in the province in the first six months after legalization.

Death review panel chair, Michael Eglison, says they looked at 194 cases from 2016.

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Overall he says the process of Bill C-14 is working well.

“We were quite happy that public safety is currently being met and there are some improvements we can make to that process, but we did not find anything from a service level or appropriateness level that concerned us,” said Eglison.

He said it’s important to understand more about how many people are trying to access Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), how many of those complete the process and what happens to those who don’t qualify.

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The review also found there is work being done on improving documentation as 40 per cent of case files were missing forms.

It also found problems with consistency across the province.

The federal government legalized medically assisted death June 2016.

Between Jan. 1, 2016, and Aug. 31, 2017, 631 medically assisted deaths took place in B.C.