Canadian Nurses Association welcomes Supreme Court of Canada ruling on medically assisted dying

OTTAWA, Feb. 9, 2015 /CNW/ - A recent Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) survey of 700 registered nurses (RNs) found that more than half of respondents are in favour of legislation allowing medically assisted dying. Three-quarters of respondents also said they talk with patients and families about end-of-life choices and advanced care planning. Following the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling and public opinion polls that say a significant majority of Canadians support medically assisted dying, CNA is diligently monitoring the evolving issue so that we can provide relevant and timely support to RNs affected by the changes.

"With the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling on medically assisted dying, our country can now fully engage in a conversation about end-of-life care and death," said CNA president Karima Velji.

CNA respects the Supreme Court of Canada's decision and welcomes the opportunity to work with physicians, federal, provincial and territorial governments as policies and practices are developed. Our first priority, as always, is supporting RNs in delivering the best care to Canadians. As the effects of the ruling on medically assisted dying come into focus, CNA will work with Canada's nurse regulators to define the implications on nursing practice, in keeping with the Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses.

"RNs currently support patients and families during advance care planning or end-of-life care discussions, and I hope our profession's commitment to Canadians is embodied in the forthcoming national dialogue," said Velji. "In this dialogue, governments, health-care providers and Canadians all need to use clear, consistent language. As well, since the issue is here to stay and is important to so many, we all need to support open and honest communication."

CNA is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada representing 135,000 registered nurses. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada's publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

SOURCE Canadian Nurses Association

For further information: Kate Headley, External Communications Coordinator, Canadian Nurses Association, Telephone: 613-237-2159, ext. 561, Cell: 613-697-7507, E-mail: kheadley@cna-aiic.ca

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