However, the Canadian Press reports, the Nova Scotia Health Authority last month "quietly instituted" a policy change to require St. Martha's to offer assisted suicide.
"This approach respects the 1996 Mission Assurance Agreement with the Sisters of St. Martha that lays out the philosophy, mission and values of St. Martha's in accordance with its faith-based identity, while also meeting the legislated obligation to ensure that [assisted suicide and euthanasia] is available in the Antigonish area for those who request and meet the criteria to access that service," said Tim Guest, the health authority's vice-president of health services, as quoted by the Canadian Press.
Dying With Dignity Canada, a group advocating for assisted suicide and euthanasia, said that many hospitals across Canada ban the practice on the premises, particularly in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.
The group's leadership has said that they hope the province's proactive approach will be "used as a model in other jurisdictions across the country."
Canadian lawmakers have raised concerns about the country's assisted suicide legislation since its passage, over problems such as conscience protections and whether minors should be able to avail themselves of assisted suicide.
Some of these concerns were raised again in the recent case of a Canadian man, Roger Foley, who suffers from an incurable disease and claims that despite asking for home care, the medical team at an Ontario hospital would only offer him assisted suicide.