The Role of Pharmacy in Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) – Minister of Justice Directive
On June 8, 2016, the Criminal Justice Branch (CJB) of BC’s Ministry of Justice and Attorney General issued new guidelines regarding physician-assisted death. The guidelines are intended to address a lack of clarity with respect to the application of the Criminal Code provisions to non-physician medical professionals.
In British Columbia, prosecutors in the CJB decide whether to file criminal charges on a case-by-case basis, applying guidelines. The CJB Guidelines recognize that a physician-assisted death may require the involvement of various health care professionals, including nurses and pharmacists.
The new guidelines apply to charges under s. 241(b) of the Criminal Code, which prohibits anyone from “aiding or abetting a person” to commit suicide. The charging guidelines direct CJB prosecutors not to file a charge under s. 241(b) where a physician or other health care professional, including nurses and pharmacists, is involved in a physician-assisted death that satisfies the conditions in Carter.
The College has updated its information for registrants with respect to MAID. Please visit the College website for more information: http://www.bcpharmacists.org/medical-assistance-dying.