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Standards, limits and conditions

Part 5: Medical assistance in dying

Standards

  1. Registered psychiatric nurses ensure that a client has access to the information that the client requires to understand all of their options and to make informed decisions about medical assistance in dying and other end-of-life options such as palliative care.

  2. Registered psychiatric nurses assess the cultural and spiritual needs and wishes of the person seeking medical assistance in dying and explore ways the person's needs could be met within the context of the care delivery.​

  3. Registered psychiatric nurses work with their organizations and other members of the health care team to ensure that the person requesting or receiving medical assistance receives high quality, coordinated and uninterrupted continuity of care and, if needed, safe transfer of the client's care to another health care provider.

  4. Registered psychiatric nurses who participate in medical assistance in dying, follow legal, legislative, regulatory and organizational requirements for aiding in the provision of medical assistance in dying.

Limits and Conditions

  1. ​​Registered psychiatric nurses only aid in the provision of medical assistance in dying and do not act as an assessor or assessor-prescriber1 or provide medical assistance in dying to a person (i.e., they do not prescribe, compound, prepare, dispense or administer any substances specifically intended for the purpose of providing medical assistance in dying, nor document the provision of medical assistance in dying).

  2. Registere​​d psychiatric nurses do not receive substances specifically intended for the purpose of providing medical assistance in dying from a pharmacist.

  3. Registered psychiatric nurses do not return substances specifically intended for the purpose of providing medical assistance in dying to the pharmacy.

    Notice: March 27, 2020.
    ​Effective immediately and for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency in British Columbia, the limit preventing registered psychiatric nurses from returning MAiD substances to the pharmacy are temporarily rescinded to the extent necessary to allow them to do so when requested by the assessor-prescriber. When carrying out such a request, registered psychiatric nurses ensure the drugs are stored securely until transported and are returned to the pharmacy within 72 hours of the MAiD procedure, and they sign any forms normally signed by the assessor-prescriber to note the return of the substances.​

  4. ​Regis​tered psychiatric nurses do not direct or counsel clients to end their lives.​

  5. ​​Registered psychiatric nurses participate in activities related to medical assistance in dying only as permitted under the Criminal Code and other legislation, regulations, regulatory college standards, and provincial and organizational policy and procedures.​

  6. Registered psychiatric nurses do not act as an independent witness if they:

    ​a.
    ​provide health care services or personal care to the client, unless they are a paid personal or health care worker who provides those services as their primary occupation
    ​b.
    ​own or operate any facility where the client requesting medical assistance in dying resides or is receiving treatment
    ​c.​

    ​know or believe that they are a beneficiary under the client’s will, or that they will otherwise receive any financial or other material benefit as a result of the client’s death
  7. Registered psychiatric nurses do not act as a proxy for signing any forms related to medical assistance in dying if they know or believe that they are a beneficiary under the will of the client making the request, or that they will receive, in any other way, any financial or other material benefit resulting from the client’s death.

  8. Registered psychiatric nurses who aid in the provision of medical assistance in dying successfully complete additional education.

  9. Registered psychiatric nurses who aid in the provision of medical assistance in dying follow the BC provincial decision support tool, in accordance with employer policy. 

  10. Registered psychiatric nurses do not aid in the provision of medical assistance in dying for a family member.​

  11. Registered psychiatric nurses do not pronounce death related to medical assistance in dying.

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Foo​​tnotes​

1

As​sessor: A nurse practitioner or medical practitioner who is responsible for completing an assessment of the client's eligibility for medical assistance in dying.

Assessor-Prescriber: A nurse practitioner or medical practitioner who is responsible for completing both an eligibility assessment and providing medical assistance in dying by prescribing and (when applicable) administering the substance to be used in MAiD. This role may be referred to by other regulatory colleges as the “prescribing nurse practitioner".