Provider budges on medically assisted dying
Faith-based Covenant Health to allow eligibility assessments, but is opting of the service
Patients in Alberta’s Catholic health-care facilities will now have easier access to medically assisted dying assessments, after Covenant Health released an updated policy Monday.
The policy clarifies how staff at Canada’s largest Catholic health-care provider will handle assisted dying requests from patients.
While Covenant’s 17 facilities across the province still won’t allow assisted dying on site, the new policy will clarify that patients will be able to receive eligibility assessments and sign forms without leaving the building.
The announcement comes after a patient at Covenant’s Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre reportedly had to sign their assisted death assessment on the sidewalk outside the hospital.
Friends of Medicare executive director Sandra Azocar criticized Covenant Health for still creating barriers to legal medical practices, despite being publicly funded.
“It’s allowing an institution to impose their beliefs on to others and trump the rights of patients,” Azocar said.
The Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton is one of 17 Covenant Health sites in Alberta that clarified their medical assistance in dying policy.