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Roger Collier | CMAJ | August 10, 2018

  • The federal government published final regulations for monitoring medical assistance in dying. The regulations set out reporting requirements for health care workers who receive requests for the service and for pharmacists who dispense medications used for assisted dying.
  • About 800 medical trainees in Canadian institutions have been called home to Saudi Arabia following a diplomatic dispute with Canada. The trainees have until Sept. 1 to leave Canada.
  • The Court of Appeal for Ontario dismissed an appeal from physician groups to block the Toronto Star from obtaining the names of the Ontario’s top-billing doctors. The physician groups argued the billing data was personal information, but the court disagreed, ruling that business revenue is not the same as personal income.
  • A shift of federal funding toward prevention of HIV instead of treatment and support may be contributing to rising HIV rates in Canada, according to the Canadian AIDS Society. HIV rates increased 11% in 2016 (most recent data).
  • Health care centres in Quebec were granted permission to force feed a woman with anorexia who was at risk of dying. A Quebec Superior Court ruled that the patient was unable to consent to or reject care.
  • The Ontario government should offer incentives to attract more physicians to psychiatry to address growing demand for mental health services, according to the Coalition of Ontario Psychiatrists. The coalition called for an increase in the number of psychiatry residency positions in Ontario and for greater exposure to the specialty in medical schools.
  • Nova Scotia is considering reducing the number of emergency departments in the province. Nine of the province’s 38 emergency departments were recently closed temporarily because of doctor shortages and the “shifting landscape in emergency medicine,” according to a senior medical official.
  • Health care workers in Ontario are asking the government to reconsider its decision to repeal the sex-ed curriculum that was updated by the previous Liberal government in 2015. Nearly 1800 health workers signed a petition arguing that returning to the older curriculum would put schoolchildren’s health at risk.
  • The president of Quebec’s medical specialists’ association defended the pay agreement between specialists and the government signed in February and intended to be in effect until 2023. Some political parties have promised to reopen the agreement if elected to government in the provincial election in October.
  • An increase in donated organs in Alberta has been attributed in part to an expanded pool of potential donors following wider adoption of policies that allow doctors to procure organs after cardio-circulatory death instead of brain death. In a donation after cardio-circulatory death, or DCD, the organs can be harvested from a consenting patient five minutes after the heart stops.

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