Edmonton Journal

Al­berta is ready for as­sisted dy­ing


Re: “As­sisted dy­ing is here, but Al­berta isn’t ready,” Paula Si­mons, May 31

I know of no other health is­sue in my 11-year ten­ure as regis­trar of the Col­lege of Physi­cians and Sur­geons of Al­berta for which there has been as much prepa­ra­tion and co-oper­a­tion as on Med­i­cal As­sis­tance in Dy­ing (MAID). The col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Al­berta Health, Al­berta Health Ser­vices and the health care reg­u­la­tors for medicine, phar­macy and nurs­ing is un­prece­dented. Al­berta is as well-pre­pared as any ju­ris­dic­tion in Canada (out­side of Que­bec, which has dif­fer­ent leg­is­la­tion):

The CPSA has rules and ad­vice to help physi­cians re­spond to a pa­tient’s re­quest for MAID.

Al­berta Health Ser­vices has di­rec­tives for em­ploy­ees and physi­cians and a sup­port sys­tem to as­sist pa­tients, physi­cians and other health care providers.

Al­berta Health has reg­u­la­tions that ad­dress pa­tient el­i­gi­bil­ity, pro­tec­tion of vul­ner­a­ble pa­tients and re­port­ing re­quire­ments.

Health Link (811) pro­vides in­for­ma­tion for pa­tients, physi­cians seek­ing ad­vice when their pa­tient asks about MAID and for con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tors (prac­ti­tion­ers or in­sti­tu­tions).

I think it un­fair to all the par­ties who’ve worked so hard to be ready for June 6 to sug­gest that Al­berta is un­pre­pared. Dr. Trevor The­man, Regis­trar, Col­lege of Physi­cians & Sur­geons of Al­berta

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