Medical Assistance in Dying

On February 6th, 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous Carter decision ruled that certain patients have a right to seek medical help to end their lives. Canada’s federal medical assistance in dying legislation, Bill C-14, was enacted on June 17th, 2016.


The College’s Professional Standard Regarding Medical Assistance in Dying is in alignment with Bill C-14. The Standard was developed through consultation with stakeholders and physicians throughout the province.

Eligible patients are able to access medical assistance in dying through the Nova Scotia Health Authority. Physicians are asked to contact the office of the Nova Scotia Health Authority's Vice President of Medicine at 902-491-5892 if they have questions or receive a specific request for medical assistance in dying.

Information Sessions

The College and Doctors Nova Scotia will be holding information sessions to review the College's Professional Standard Regarding Medical Assistance in Dying.

Upcoming sessions:

October 18th, 2016 at 5 p.m. in Halifax
Halifax Infirmary (QEII Health Sciences Centre) - Royal Bank Theatre
1796 Summer Street
If you wish to attend this session, please RSVP Alice Sandall-Holt via e-mail at

November 9th, 2016 at 5 p.m. in Bridgewater
South Shore Regional Hospital - Dawson Room
90 Glen Allan Drive
If you wish to attend this session, please RSVP Melissa Hiltz via e-mail at
This session will be made available to physicians in the Western Zone via a Lync connection.

A video recording of the Halifax session will also be available for those unable to attend these scheduled events.

To date, medical assistance in dying information sessions have also been held at the Colchester East Hants Health Centre in Truro on October 3rd, the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney on October 4th and the Yarmouth Regional Hospital in Yarmouth on October 6th.

Nova Scotia Health Authority Resources

Completion of Death Certificate

In cases where medical assistance in dying services were provided, physicians are asked to contact Vital Statistics regarding completion of a medical death certificate.

Contact information:
Phone:     (902) 424-4381
Toll-free: 1-877-848-2578 (within Nova Scotia)


The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is currently developing the following resources regarding medical assistance in dying:

  • Two new cases within the College's bio-ethics curriculum (available Summer 2016)
  • A workshop for residents, and the update of past bioethics cases due to new legislation (available Fall 2016)

The Canadian Medical Association has developed the following educational offerings on end-of-life care and medical assistance in dying:

Other Resources