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Physician-Assisted Death – ACP’s Supplemental Guidance to the Professions

February 10, 2016

In the January 27, 2016 issue of The Link, ACP provided preliminary guidance to the professions about practice considerations related to physician-assisted death.

In this issue of The Link, ACP is providing Supplemental Guidance on physician-assisted death to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians with further direction on how to comply with ACP’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice in context with the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Carter v. Canada. This guidance document supplements ACP’s initial advice sent to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians and should be read hand-in-hand. To the extent possible, ACP’s goal is to guide practice in a manner that may mitigate risks when responding to a physician’s prescription for physician-assisted death.

As of February 6, 2016 in the absence of federal or provincial legislation, the Supreme Court is permitting individuals seeking physician-assisted death to apply to the courts for authorization to proceed with physician-assisted death. During the extension period granted by the Supreme Court (February 6 – June 6, 2016) individuals in Alberta who receive authorization from the Court of Queen’s Bench may proceed with physician-assisted death.

The college will be providing further guidance to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians over the next two weeks. Should you receive a prescription from a physician for physician-assisted death prior to February 25, 2016, please contact ACP at Please note this email is intended for questions from pharmacists and pharmacy technicians only.

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.

Supplemental Guidance to the Professions – February 10 2016.pdf