The government is releasing What we heard: Medical Assistance in Dying, a summary of public consultation findings that includes more than 15,000 responses to an online survey.
“Thousands of Albertans responded to this difficult topic with the compassion and the pragmatism this province is known for. I want to thank each person who took the time to share heartfelt and deeply held beliefs about medical assistance in dying. This feedback has helped us prepare for the Supreme Court of Canada’s June 6 deadline when medical assistance in death becomes legal in Canada.”
To help determine the best way to protect patients, families, health-care providers and our most vulnerable, the Government of Alberta set up an MLA Consultation Panel to gather input from Albertans. Minister Payne, along with her co-panel members, MLAs Dr. Bob Turner and Dr. David Swann, solicited input through an online survey, written submissions and meetings with stakeholders.
“Albertans clearly want the government to have the right safeguards in place. As a physician, it was very encouraging to me to see such a strong emphasis on protecting the vulnerable as well as the rights of health care professionals.”
Respondents were asked for feedback related to six general areas:
- Protection of the vulnerable
- Administration of medical assistance in dying
- Conscientious objection
- Monitoring and reporting
- Palliative care
“Canadians deserve the best of palliative care at the end of life. Nevertheless, timely, transparent and compassionate access to assistance in dying for competent adults with intolerable, irremediable suffering is now the law in Canada and must become available to all who need it.”
After Alberta started its public consultation, the federal government introduced proposed legislation. Once it is passed, the new law is expected to address many of the outstanding issues related to medical assistance.
The Government of Alberta is considering all input shared during the consultation process as it creates its regulatory framework for medical assistance in dying.