Nova Scotia removes some restrictions for medical assistance in dying

Click to play video: 'Trudeau defends MAID legislation after Conservative MP points to ‘serious abuses’' Trudeau defends MAID legislation after Conservative MP points to ‘serious abuses’
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his government’s law on medically assisted dying in question period on Wednesday after Conservative MP Michael Cooper pointed to “serious abuses” of the legislation, pointing to what he said was the “questionable MAID death of a woman who suffered from depression.” Police in Abbotsford, B.C. are investigating the death of Donna Duncan after her daughters claimed she should not have been approved based on the state of her mental health – May 11, 2022

Nova Scotia is removing the requirement that someone’s natural death be “reasonably foreseeable” before they can access medical assistance in dying.

The province is also adopting Audrey’s Amendment, which eliminates the requirement that patients undergoing a medically assisted death be completely conscious to provide consent at the time of death.

The province’s Health Department said the policy changes were effective immediately and were made to reflect the “changing landscape” around medically assisted death.

Read more: This is why Canada is debating assisted death laws

Audrey’s Amendment refers to Audrey Parker, a Nova Scotian with terminal cancer who received a medically assisted death sooner than she wanted because she feared she wouldn’t be well enough to give late-stage consent.

Audrey Parker, diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer, which had metastasized to her bones and with a tumour on her brain, talks about life and death at her home in Halifax on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan. AV

Audrey’s Amendment was given royal assent by the Senate of Canada in March 2021.

Story continues below advertisement

Dr. Nicole Boutilier, vice president of medicine at Nova Scotia Health, said in a statement “the new documents demonstrate our commitment to patients and clinicians in safeguarding the highest standard of care.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2022.

Sponsored content