01/21/2016 15:12 EST | Updated 01/21/2017 00:12 EST

MD group sets out recommendations to help governments draft assisted dying laws

TORONTO — The Canadian Medical Association has released a set of recommendations aimed at helping Ottawa and the provinces draft legislation governing physician-assisted dying.

Key issues addressed in the document include assessing patient eligibility, physicians' responsibilities, and how to balance doctors' freedom of conscience with timely access to the service.

The Supreme Court of Canada has given legislators until early June to draft new regulations.

CMA president Dr. Cindy Forbes says the clock is ticking and she hopes the recommendations from the 80,000-member doctors group will help  usher in a nationally cohesive set of regulations.

The group Dying With Dignity takes issue with the recommendation that no doctor should be forced to help patients end their lives or refer them to willing colleagues.

CEO Wanda Morris says desperately ill patients should not have to strike out on their own to find a doctor willing to end their suffering.

The Canadian Press