Veterans Affairs Canada has concluded a review of files and says the there were four instances of Veterans being given advice about medical assistance in dying (MAID)—all from the same employee.
On 21 July 2022, a Veteran contacted the VAC call centre to file a complaint alleging that a VAC employee had inappropriately raised MAiD to the Veteran during a phone conversation earlier that day. The Veteran alleged that the employee also referred to having provided information on MAiD to another Veteran. The Department took immediate action by apologizing to the Veteran and reassigning the Veteran’s file to the employee’s manager.
A short time later the Minister of Veterans Affairs ordered a full investigation. The department reviewed over 400,000 files and concluded that there were four occasions when a veteran was advised to consider MAID. Once the employee was identified the investigation drilled down on the more than 2,000 files the worker had handled since 2016 when MAID was legalized. The worker is no longer with the department, the file has been handed over to the RCMP for further investigation.
Department staff have been given additional training on the topic and have been instructed not to raise the issue of Assistance in Dying and if the client raises the issue—the response should be to refer them back to their family doctor.
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