Our past blogs have discussed Medical Assistance in Dying or MAID which has now been legal in Canada for almost three years. The latest update is that the recording and reporting requirements have changed as of November 1st, 2018.

They now require physicians, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists to provide specified information to the federal Ministry of Health related to requests for, and the provision of, MAID in Canada. The trigger to report is a written request for assisted death which can be an email, text, or any other form of written messaging.

Basic Reporting

The information to be provided is a report with the demographic detail of the patient, the patient and clinician’s information, the date of the request, the physician’s area of specialty, and whether they were consulted by the patient making the request in the past for other medical reasons.

Next Step Reporting

If the clinician decides to proceed to make an assessment of the patient’s eligibility for MAID, additional reporting is required. This includes the illness suffered by the patient, a description of the patient’s history of pain and suffering, whether and for how long the patient received disability support and/or palliative care, and whether disability support and/or palliative care was available to the patient.

If A Patient is Transferred

Clinicians who transfer the patient’s care must report on the date and reason for referral, and whether an eligibility assessment was conducted prior to referral or transfer.

If MAID is Provided

Clinicians who administer MAID must report on a number of factors, including but not limited to, the dates and place the substance was administered.

Who Reports to Whom

Clinicians in Ontario will report to the Chief Coroner for cases resulting in a MAID death, and to the federal Minister of Health for cases not involving a MAID death.

Clinicians in the other provinces and territories will submit their reporting through the Canadian MAID Data Collection Portal developed by Health and Statistics Canada.

Health Canada Reporting

The Regulation also requires Health Canada to provide to the public at least once every year a report on the data collected. The reported data will hopefully provide a reliable and accurate measurement tool, and hence better management and awareness, of the use of MAID in Canada. The accuracy of the data will also fill in what were perceived to be unknowns based on the previously scattered reporting mechanisms which varied from province to province. Finally, it will also provide a firmer foundation on which the future discussions about MAID’s use in Canada can be based.

Guidance for Reporting

Health Canada has provided help for clinicians in their document “Guidance for reporting on medical assistance in dying-Summary”

Criminal Code Implications

The amendments to the Criminal Code will now require clinicians to file their reports within set time limits, usually thirty (30) days. The consequences of not doing so include the possibility of prison, discipline and civil liability.

Further clinicians will likely be under closer scrutiny surrounding their handling and disposition of requests for MAID going forward.

Takeaways

The biggest social and political impact is likely to stem from the need to report on patients found to be ineligible for MAID. This information is likely to generate lively and heated discussion about MAID and its use and availability in the upcoming review by the Canadian Parliament in December of this year.

As always with evolving health law matters, we will continue to follow developments with the forthcoming review as it unfolds and will provide updates to our readers as more information become available. In the interim, if you have questions about these new regulations, MAID, or any other related issue, contact the knowledgeable health law lawyers at Wise Health Law.

At Wise Health Law, we focus on health and administrative law. Our lawyers have significant trial and appellate experience and are passionate about helping health professionals and healthcare organizations understand and protect their legal rights. Based on our highly-specialized knowledge and experience in healthcare litigation, we often receive referrals from other lawyers and legal professionals. Contact us online, or at 416-915-4234 for a consultation.

 

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