Canada: Workers who receive legal medical assistance in dying as a result of a work related injury or disease will be deemed to have died as a result of the work related injury or disease.

In response to the passage of federal Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying), the Government of Ontario enacted Bill 84, the Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017 (“Bill 84”).

Bill 84 amended the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 to provide that a worker who receives medical assistance in dying is deemed to have died as a result of the injury or disease for which the worker was determined to be eligible to receive medical assistance in dying, if the medical assistance in dying was provided in accordance with federal law.

The Bill 84 amendments to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 took effect on May 10, 2017.

On April 5, 2018, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (the “WSIB”) published a new policy, entitled “Medical Assistance in Dying”. The new policy provides that if a worker receives medical assistance in dying as a result of a work related injury or disease in accordance with federal and provincial law, the worker will be deemed to have died as a result of the work related injury or disease.

A worker who receives medical assistance in dying as a result of a work related injury or disease in accordance with federal and provincial law will generally be entitled to WSIB health care benefits and/or services. Further, the survivor(s) of a worker who legally qualifies for medical assistance in dying as a result of a work related injury or disease will generally be entitled to WSIB survivor benefits.

The policy provides guidelines for those cases where an injured worker who receives medical assistance in dying also has a non-work-related condition which may have impacted his or her eligibility for legal medical assistance in dying.

The new policy applies to all decisions with respect to entitlement periods on or after April 5, 2018, for accidents on or after January 1, 1998.

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Canada, please contact Robert Bayne, Partner at Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti (www.filion.on.ca) at rbayne@filion.on.ca
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