MAiD means the administration by a medical practitioner or a nurse practitioner of a substance or drug to a person, at his or her request, that causes his or her death.
In June 2016, amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code permit medical practitioners and nurse practitioners to provide MAiD. They also permit pharmacists and other persons, including LPNs, to assist in the process. Federal and provincial legislation contain safeguards to make sure MAiD is carried out appropriately and protects people from abuse or misuse.
In BC, physicians and nurse practitioners can provide MAiD and others can assist in providing the service, including:
Anyone requesting MAiD must meet all of the following conditions:
The person does not need to have a fatal or terminal condition to be eligible for MAiD.
LPNs are self-regulating professionals who are accountable for providing safe, competent and ethical care within the legal framework of nursing regulation. BCCNP LPN Standards of Practice and employer policy lay out the requirements for LPN practice in all practice settings including end-of-life and palliative care. The LPN’s role is limited to assisting medical practitioners who are providing MAiD. For example, LPNs may:
LPNs do not administer any medication intended to cause the client’s death. LPNs may insert the IV line that the medical practitioner will use to administer the medication and they may be present during the administration of the medication to provide nursing care to the client and family.
LPNs may witness a consent for MAID if they are not directly involved in providing health services or personal care to the client and will not benefit from the client’s death.
LPNs who have a conscientious objection may ask their employer, in advance, to exempt them from participating in MAiD. See BCCNP LPN practice standard Duty to Provide Care
Employers are developing policies and resources for LPNs and other staff who may become involved in MAiD. These policies and resources will evolve and change over time as Canadians have more experience with MAiD.
While MAiD helps people end their lives, palliative care aims to improve the quality of life for people living with a life-threatening condition. Different people will make different choices about the end of their lives.
BCCNP is collaborating with the Ministry of Health, employers, regulators and others to develop standards and resources for LPNs who may become involved in MAiD.
For further information on the Standards of Practice or professional practice matters, contact us: