Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)

Updated June 27, 2016


On Feb. 6, 2015 — through the Carter v. Canada decision — the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ruled that all provinces and territories in Canada must permit some form of physician-assisted death. At the time of the Carter decision, the SCC suspended its decision and granted federal and provincial governments time to develop a framework to accommodate medical assistance in dying (referred to as ‘physician-assisted death’ by the SCC).

On June 17, 2016 the federal government enacted amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada (the “Criminal Code”) to include circumstances under which medical assistance in dying is permitted.

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are now exempted from criminal liability when dispensing a prescription that is written by a medical or nurse practitioner in providing medical assistance in dying in accordance with applicable federal legislation, provincial or territorial legislation, standards, policies or guidelines, is protected from criminal liability.


Please read the full Guidance Document — Medical Assistance in Dying (June 27, 2016) for more information.


Clinicial Questions on MAiD

The Drug Information and Resource Centre (DIRC) at the Ontario Pharmacists Association has set up a service to answer pharmacists’ and pharmacy technicians’ clinical questions about medical assistance in dying (MAiD).

Effective June 26, 2017, all OCP-registered pharmacy practitioners can contact a team of drug information pharmacists within DIRC who have been trained to answer clinical questions related to MAiD. Questions can be submitted via email to maid@opatoday.com. Please include your OCP license number, full name, and preferred contact information including a telephone number where you can be best reached when submitting a question. A member of the DIRC MAiD team will respond to your email within two business days.


External Resources