B.C.’s college of nurses to revise its rules on assisted dying

By The Canadian Press
June 9, 2016 - 11:40am Updated: June 10, 2016 - 11:30am

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s college of nurses says it will revise its directive to members after the criminal justice branch said it wouldn’t prosecute nurses who help in the assisted-dying process.

The College of Registered Nurses of B.C. had been telling members to avoid taking part or discussing the topic with patients, because it was unclear if they were protected legally.

Assisted-dying legislation is before the Senate, but the Supreme Court’s deadline striking down the ban on assisted death passed on Monday, allowing people to ask for a doctor’s help to die.

The high court’s judgment protects doctors, but nurses and pharmacists are not explicitly mentioned in the ruling.

A statement from the college says new guidelines from prosecutors regarding involvement of nurses in assisted dying say there’s no substantial likelihood of conviction if the conditions of the law are met.

The college says those guidelines significantly reduce the risk of prosecution for registered nurses and it plans on posting its standards, limits and conditions for RNs for assisted dying by Friday.

The Canadian Press

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