posted April 15, 2016
In response to the 2015 Carter decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, the federal government on April 14, 2016 tabled Bill C-14. This proposed legislation will amend the Criminal Code to allow medical assistance in dying (MAiD) in specified circumstances.
It is important to note that this legislation is not yet in effect. For the time being, the Criminal Code provisions against assisting in dying remain in place. Individual patients are still permitted to seek court ordered exemptions for MAiD until June 6, 2016.
The proposed legislation would change the Criminal Code to allow nurse practitioners (NPs) and physicians to provide assistance in dying, for eligible individuals, without the risk of being charged. There will be safeguards to ensure those who ask for medical assistance in dying are eligible, can give informed consent, and voluntarily request it.
Registered nurses (RNs) and others who assist physicians or NPs in providing MAiD would also be permitted to do so under the new law without the risk of criminal charges.
We are collaborating closely with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C., the College of Pharmacists of B.C., the Ministry of Health, health authorities, and other stakeholders to ensure that standards, limits and conditions, policies and supports are in place to meet the anticipated June 6, 2016 effective date.
This legislation arrives as part of a historical shift in law, health care and nursing practice as they relate to dying. We encourage all registrants to take the time to review the legislation and the supporting resources published by the federal government.
firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or feedback.