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Physician-assisted death (PAD) – what you need to know

January 27, 2016

Effective February 6, 2016, all provinces and territories must ensure access to physician-assisted death (PAD). While the Supreme Court has provided a four month extension (June 6, 2016) to develop legislation, it has provided for individuals to apply to the courts to access PAD in advance. In the absence of federal and provincial legislation, ACP is providing guidance to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians about complying with ACP’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice in a manner that is consistent with the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Carter v. Canada. To the extent possible, our goal is to guide practice in a manner that may mitigate risks faced by our professions when providing supporting services for PAD.

ACP has engaged with the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, Alberta Health, and Alberta Health Services to address how PAD will be implemented in Alberta and what is required of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. A working group continues to address protocols, processes, accessibility to drugs, procedural safeguards and the integration of AHS and community-based services.

Please click on the link below for preliminary guidance about practice considerations related to PAD, in the absence of federal and provincial legislation. It is important that you continually monitor information from ACP about PAD, as the guidance provided in this document is based on facts known only on the date of publishing. Any development in policies, legislation and regulations may impact this guidance, and will be communicated to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians as it unfolds.

You are encouraged to engage with your colleagues and teams and discuss PAD. You should be considering personal decisions about this critical social policy, what that means to you in your patients and your practice; and, the role you may play.

Physician-Assisted Death – ACP Guidance to the Professions.pdf