Panel finds documentation issues plague assisted dying in B.C.

40 per cent of cases were missing forms

B.C. is still struggling to implement some of the new rules for medically assisted dying.

That’s according to a statement released Tuesday from Michael Eglison, the chair of a 2016 death review panel on medical assistance in dying cases in B.C.

READ: Province takes control of assisted dying

The panel, which reviewed 194 cases, found wide-ranging issues with documentation, including that 40 per cent of all case files were missing forms.

Also of concern was regional variation in how assisted dying was carried out, and a lack of a case-review framework.

The panel recommended three areas of improvement, including improved documentation and a streamlined documentation transfer process, setting out guidelines for quality assurance and developing information-sharing protocols.

The death review panel was established as part of the Coroners Act to provide a better understanding of medically assisted deaths, and to identify quality assurance and quality improvement processes.

Assisted death was made legal in June 2016. Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31 of this year, there were 631 medically assisted deaths in B.C.

To qualify, patients must be at least 18 years old, be found capable of making their own decisions, have a “grievous and irremediable medical condition,” be aware of all palliative treatment options and not have made the choice to die under pressure.


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