Reminder to review ACP's guidance to the professions on physician-assisted death

February 24, 2016

Between February 6, 2016 and June 6, 2016, in the absence of federal or provincial legislation, the Supreme Court has permitted individuals seeking physician assistance, to apply to the courts for authorization to proceed with physician-assisted death. During this period individuals in Alberta who receive authorization from the Court of Queen’s Bench may proceed with physician-assisted death.

ACP reminds pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to observe the following guidance as a preventative measure to mitigate personal risk:

DO NOT process a prescription for release to a physician for physician-assisted death before receiving a copy of a court order authorizing it.

DO NOT provide advice to any patients or families about physician-assisted death. Rather, refer the individuals to their physician; and if they do not have a physician, to Health Link (call 811).

You are urged to review ACP’s Preliminary and Supplementary Guidance to the Professions on Physician-assisted death and are encouraged to have a discussion about this with your pharmacy team. The guidance documents are available in the Tools and Guidelines section of ACP’s website. Additional information on physician-assisted death can be found on AHS’s website.

Protocols and a standardized prescription form are being finalized and will be available on ACP’s secured member portal. Watch closely for more information coming to you soon.

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