With the federal government missing its deadline for a new law on physician assisted death, B.C.’s Criminal Justice Branch has released guidelines for prosecutors dealing with the subject.
The guidelines acknowledge that doctors may need the help of other health care professionals like nurses and pharmacy technicians to provide medically assisted dying.
Dan McLaughlin with the Criminal justice branch says two conditions must be met.
Those are that the patient is an adult who
- clearly consents to the termination of life
- has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition
“When those conditions are present, were advising prosecutors there is no substantial likelihood of conviction for charges.”
If a case were to go before the court, the guideline says each instance would be assessed on a case-by-case basis.