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Nurse Practitioner role in Medical Assistance in Dying

Posted July 29, 2016

The CRNBC Board on July 27, 2016 approved and put into immediate effect standards, limits and conditions related to the role of nurse practitioners (NPs) in determining eligibility for and providing medical assistance in dying (MAiD). These standards, limits and conditions have been incorporated into the NP Scope of Practice document, beginning on page 38.

The standards, limits and conditions respond to the recently amended Criminal Code of Canada and consequential changes made last week to the Nurses (Registered) and Nurse Practitioner regulation, and also meet a request from the Ministry of Health to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, the College of Pharmacists of BC, and CRNBC for the three regulators to align their standards and language around MAiD.

What is changing?

With these changes, NPs are now recognized as having the following role in medical assistance in dying:

  • determining the eligibility of the person requesting medical assistance in dying based on the eligibility criteria established in the Criminal Code of Canada
  • providing MAiD by administering the medical assistance in dying substances to a person, at their request, that causes their death providing MAiD by prescribing and/or
  • providing the medical assistance in dying substances to a person, at their request, so that they may self-administer the substance and in doing so cause their own death
  • aiding in the provision of medical assistance in dying by a medical practitioner or another nurse practitioner

Ongoing collaboration

CRNBC continues to work closely with our provincial counterparts and stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, Vital Statistics, BC Health Authorities, College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, and the College of Pharmacists of BC as we each carry out our respective roles related to implementing standards, protocols and safe approaches for providing and aiding medical assistance in dying.

 In addition, the provincial government has passed a regulation which requires that all MAiD deaths be reported to the BC Coroners Service. The role of the BC Coroners Service will be to ensure compliance with the federal and provincial laws and regulations, and also to gather information about MAiD deaths in BC for aggregate reporting purposes.

Important note

In addition to meeting CRNBC’s Standards of Practice, NPs are also expected to work with their employer(s) to ensure they meet all relevant agency policies and standards related to the provision of medical assistance in dying.

Questions?

Email practice@crnbc.ca

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