VANCOUVER, BC: The College Board has approved interim guidance for the profession on physician-assisted dying (PAD). This decision comes after many months of consideration into the matter, and a consultation period with the profession.
While the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has given the federal government a four-month extension on the deadline to pass legislation on PAD, the SCC also made an exception, allowing patients who find the extension intolerable to seek PAD during the four-month period by applying to the BC Supreme Court.
This exception will be effective as of the original deadline February 6, 2016. In preparation, the Board has approved interim guidance to assist the profession now.
“The College is pleased that so many BC physicians actively engaged on this important issue,” said Dr. Heidi M. Oetter, registrar and CEO of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. “The feedback we received from them was carefully reviewed when considering the scope, content and language of the interim guidance. The College would like to thank all the physicians who took the time to share their thoughtful responses and concerns.” During its consultation process, the College also met with BC Health Minister Terry Lake, Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe, Doctors of BC, and chair of the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council, Dr. Douglas Cochrane.
The release of this guidance is in accordance with the SCC requirement that the regulatory authorities of Canada set regulations for PAD, and the College’s mandate to regulate the practice of medicine by ensuring BC physicians are aware of expectations for practice, including changes to relevant law and legislation.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons is the licensing and regulatory body for all physicians and surgeons in the province. Governed by provincial legislation, the College’s role is to protect the public by establishing, monitoring and enforcing high standards of qualification and ethical practice across the province.(firstname.lastname@example.org)