AHS creating central co-ordinating service for doctor-assisted dying

Catholic-based facilities Villa Marie in Red Deer and Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital in Castor will not be providing medical assistance in dying.

Catholic-based facilities Villa Marie in Red Deer and Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital in Castor will not be providing medical assistance in dying.

But the province says the option will still be available by transferring residents.

“At the moment we have more than 80 doctors across Alberta who have expressed interest in supporting patients through medical assistance in dying, right across all five zones. One of the many options that will be available to all Albertans is the option of accessing medical assistance in dying through their home or through other locations,” said Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne on Thursday.

“Alberta Health Services has worked really carefully to create a central co-ordinating service for medical assistance in dying to ensure any patient wherever they are in Alberta who are choosing to exercise this right that they will have support and be guided through the process to help ensure that they have access to medical assistance in dying.”


Villa Marie, a Covenant Care facility, has 100 supportive living Level 4 care beds, or beds that are one level below long-term care which is the highest care level for seniors. A 66-bed expansion project is planned.

The Covenant Health hospital in Castor has five acute care beds and 22 continuing care beds.

On Monday, the province introduced its motion on medical assistance in dying. Debate has concluded and cabinet will be reviewing the regulations to ensure checks and balances are in place to ensure access while protecting vulnerable Albertans.

Payne could not say when the regulations will be approved by cabinet, but access and rules for medical assisted dying is already in place through AHS, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta and the court system while the federal government works to approve Bill C-14.

Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA Jason Nixon said it was extremely frustrating and disappointing to the Wildrose opposition when government limited debate in the legislature to six hours and revealed the draft regulations at the same time the motion was brought forward.

“We’re just shocked at how fast it is and we’ve had very little time to absorb it and put the proper research and work into this important file,” Nixon said.

“It’s a tough issue, lots of emotion and lots of different view points. We have to give people the opportunity to participate in something so important.”

He said he will still seek as much feedback as possible from his constituents.

Payne said the province has already heard from over 15,000 Albertans through an online survey, along with written submissions from stakeholder groups like Covenant Health and feedback from individual Albertans.

“I feel like we’ve done a good job of reaching out to Albertans on this and I’ve been very grateful to all of the Albertans who took the time to share their feedback as well as share their heart-felt stories with us.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
Bowden’s reputation bounces back

RCMP investigate pop-up freedom rally in Red Deer

The City of Red Deer says it has not implemented a curfew and will continue to explore options and do what is necessary based on provincial direction. (Advocate file photo).
COVID curfew not on Red Deer city council’s agenda

Red Deer creeping up to 1,000 COVID-19 cases

Red Deerians deserve a strong partner in the province, and a strong plan for the future says Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
‘UCP has taken Red Deer for granted,’ says Notley

Geothermal energy drilling will expand in central Alberta if the NDP is… Continue reading

Kris Sturgess with Calgary Ghostbusters. (Photo from GoFundMe)
GoFundMe account salutes Red Deer prop builder

Kris Sturgess died unexpectedly April 28

FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Rona Ambrose is shown during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Thursday, May 18, 2017. New judges will have to commit to take training in sexual assault law, thanks to a new law that received royal assent last night. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Judges’ sexual assault training bill receives royal assent after clearing the Senate

OTTAWA, Ohio — New judges will have to commit to take training… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks to a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday May 4, 2021. A broad coalition of MPs from all five parties wants the federal government to support waiving the global rules that guard vaccine trade secrets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
As MPs urge support, Trudeau demurs on whether government backs COVID-19 waiver

WASHINGTON — Justin Trudeau stopped well short Friday of endorsing efforts to… Continue reading

Workers perform ground preparations outside City Hall in Yellowknife on Monday, July 4, 2011. A recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Yellowknife is mostly affecting children and youth, the territory’s chief public health officer says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most of Yellowknife’s COVID-19 cases are in children and youth: public health officer

YELLOWKNIFE — A health official in the Northwest Territories says a recent… Continue reading

Statistics Canada building and signs are pictured in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
A year after jobs data leak, StatCan resumes sharing advance numbers with officials

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada has resumed its practice of giving key federal… Continue reading

jobs - T - 3-6-2020
Job search: 10 ways to make your LinkedIn profile stand out in 2021

In 2021 successful job hunting requires having a LinkedIn profile that’s current… Continue reading

Max Parrot of Canada competes in the men’s snowboard big air final at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Parrot has won the Comeback of the Year honour at the Laureus World Sports Awards. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot wins Laureus World Sports Award for comeback

Parrot beat out former Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith

Most Read