News Release

CPSO Statement on Expert Advisory Group Report on Physician-Assisted Dying

Dec 14, 2015

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario welcomes the report from the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying.

“The report of the Provincial Territorial Expert Advisory Group is an outstanding piece of work and will certainly inform the College’s own consultation," said College President Dr. Joel Kirsh.

There is a clear focus on patient access and a call for a Pan-Canadian approach. In addition, the report addresses conscientious objection in a manner that is consistent with the College’s draft interim guidance document and the College’s Professional Obligations and Human Rights policy.  The College Interim Guidance indicates that where a physician declines to provide physician-assisted death for reasons of conscience or religion, he or she must make an effective referral to another physician or agency in a timely manner. Patients must not be exposed to adverse clinical outcomes due to a delayed referral.

The report is comprehensive and largely consistent with the draft interim guidance document developed by the College. The College’s interim guidance document on physician-assisted dying is currently undergoing public consultation. Visit the dedicated consultation page to view further information and provide your feedback.