Bill S-253. An Act respecting a national framework for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
FASD, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a lifelong disability that impacts an individual’s brain and body and results in varying degrees of challenges in their daily living. An estimated four percent of the population has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, making it the leading cause of neurodevelopmental disability in Canada.
This month, Parliament recognized the need for appropriate supports to reduce the incidence of alcohol-exposed pregnancies, enacting Bill S-253. The Minister of Health must develop a national framework on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
The national framework must include measures to address the training, education and guidance needs of health care and other professionals regarding the prevention and diagnosis fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and support measures for those who are impacted by it.
It must identify measures to promote research and intergovernmental information-sharing in relation to the prevention and diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and support measures for those who are impacted by it.
The bill must set out national standards for the prevention and diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and for support measures for those who are impacted by it.
It must set out a strategy to increase awareness of the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and the consequences of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, including by recommending changes to legislative and policy frameworks related to alcohol consumption and marketing.
S-253 must also identify any other measures that the Minister considers appropriate to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, ensure that individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder are properly diagnosed, and promote better outcomes for those individuals, their families and their caregivers.