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. The College’s Professional Standard Regarding Medical Assistance in Dying has been revised to ensure alignment with Bill C-14.

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.

Four regional sessions will be held as follows:

October 3rd, 2016 at 5 p.m. in Truro
Colchester East Hants Health Centre - Willow Room
600 Abenaki Road

October 4th, 2016 at 5 p.m. in Sydney
Cape Breton Regional Hospital - Room 3612
1482 George Street

October 6th, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. in Yarmouth
Yarmouth Regional Hospital - Bluenose Room
60 Vancouver Street

October 12th, 2016 at 5 p.m. in Halifax
Halifax Infirmary (QEII Health Sciences Centre) - Royal Bank Theatre
1796 Summer Street

Each session will be available by way of a Telehealth connection. A webinar of the session will also be available for those unable to attend these scheduled events.

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: