Message issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia…
Dear College registrant,
Further to my email on Friday, June 3, please be advised that the College has published its new standard on medical assistance in dying (MAID) effective today:
The standard is supported by a frequently asked questions document:
To strengthen safeguards in protecting patients and providing direction to physicians, the provincial government amended the regulations under the Health Professions Act to give the College’s standard the weight of law as of June 6, 2016. Physicians who choose to participate in MAID must follow the requirements outlined in the standard.
While physicians are legally authorized to provide MAID as of today, the Carter decision did not similarly protect nurses and pharmacists, who also play a significant role in ensuring patient well-being throughout the procedure. The standard of the College does not apply to nurses or pharmacists. Until a new federal law is in effect, pharmacists and nurses are uncertain of their risk of criminal prosecution for aiding MAID.
Both the College of Registered Nurses of BC and the College of Pharmacists of BC have provided guidance to their registrants.
College of Registered Nurses of BC: https://www.crnbc.ca/crnbc/Announcements/2016/Pages/MAiD_June6.aspx
College of Pharmacists of BC: http://www.bcpharmacists.org/news/update-medical-assistance-dying
Provincial health partners continue to work collaboratively to ensure there is a standardized process in place to enable patient access to MAID. As mentioned in my email on Friday, physicians involved in providing MAID will need to access standardized forms, which can be obtained from the health authorities and the College. The Ministry of Health is currently working to identify an official oversight agency to support provincial monitoring and reporting of MAID. In the meantime, physicians are required to submit all of their completed forms to the College.
Completed forms must be sent by mail in confidence to:
Office of the Registrar and CEO College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC
300–669 Howe Street
Heidi M. Oetter
Registrar and CEO
College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC