Veterans Affairs closes assisted-dying investigation, says four cases were 'isolated'

OTTAWA — Veterans Affairs Canada says it is closing its investigation into reports that former service members were offered medically assisted deaths.

The department says in a final report today that it has concluded the issue was "isolated" to a single employee who raised assisted dying as an option with four veterans.

Veterans Affairs says it reviewed hundreds of thousands of files and followed up with hundreds of former service members and family members as part of its investigation.

The department says it has issued new guidance and training forbidding staff from raising assisted dying as an option.

Employees can talk about the benefits and support available if a veteran has chosen medical assistance in dying.

But staff are otherwise told to refer veterans to their primary health-care providers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2023.

The Canadian Press