This message has been issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC:

The College Board has recently approved amendments to two professional standards:

  1. Medical Assistance in Dying

The Ministry of Health recently made two significant changes to its regulation, which materially affected the standard.

  • Nurse practitioners are now authorized to act as assessors/prescribers for medical assistance in dying (MAiD).
  • The BC Coroners Service has been named as the oversight and monitoring body for all instances of MAiD occurring in the province. Physicians who prescribe or administer MAiD must complete the BC Coroners Service Report of MAiD Death Form and submit it to the BC Coroners Service directly.

The standard has been updated to incorporate these changes.

  1. Safe Prescribing of Drugs with Potential for Misuse/Diversion

Following feedback from the profession, edits were made to provide clarification on several points, including:

  • a direct acknowledgement that the principles contained in the standard do not apply in the context of active cancer, palliative, nursing home and end-of-life care,
  • a direct acknowledgement that random urine drug testing and/or random pill counts are appropriate only for adult patients on long-term opioids, sedatives or stimulants (and not children),
  • a revision to standard #14 to read “a three-month supply or 250 tablets, whichever is less,” rather than a one-month supply, and
  • a direct acknowledgement that it is rarely appropriate to abruptly discontinue LTOT.

The standard has been updated to incorporate these changes. Registrants may also wish to reference the FAQ article addressing questions from the profession about the standard that appeared in the July/August edition of the College Connector.

Professional Standards and Guidelines serve as benchmarks against which the conduct of individual physicians is measured. Physicians seeking specific advice or clarification on a standard or guideline or other professional matter should contact the College at 604-733-7758 and make an appointment to speak with a member of the registrar staff.

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