March 26, 2020

Medical Assistance in Dying practice standard temporarily amended

Effectively immediately and for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency in British Columbia, the following changes have been made to the Medical Assistance in Dying practice standard:

  • The limit allowing only one practitioner to conduct a telemedicine assessment is temporarily rescinded. Both practitioners can conduct the assessment by telemedicine. Telemedicine assessments must meet the requirements set out in federal legislation as well as the standards and expectations that apply to in-person assessments.
  • The requirement for a regulated health professional to act as a witness is temporarily rescinded. No witness is required for a telemedicine assessment if they are not reasonably available.
  • The requirement of the physician not to delegate or assign the return of MAiD substances is temporarily rescinded. When there is no other reasonable option, the physician may ask another physician, nurse practitioner, licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, registered psychiatric nurse, or pharmacist to return the substances to the pharmacy. The physician must document the name of the person assigned to return the substances in the patient record.