Canadian Nurses Association welcomes report on medical assistance in dying

OTTAWA, Feb. 25, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) welcomes the report of the special joint committee on physician-assisted dying, which includes 21 recommendations for the federal government to consider in crafting a framework on medical assistance in dying (MAID).

The report reflects CNA's presentation to the committee and recent statements made by CNA CEO Anne Sutherland Boal during a Hill Times panel discussion on this issue.

In response to today's report, CNA president Karima Velji made the following statement:

"We are hopeful this report will lead to legislation that provides the public and the nursing profession with a clear understanding of nurses' roles in medically assisted dying.

"The authors of the report demonstrated a deep understanding of the complexities associated with assisted death and the implications related to end-of-life care. The suggested change to the title of the report demonstrates their understanding that assisted dying involves patients, families and many care providers. Also, the report raises the important issue that legislation will need to address access barriers to MAID for Canadians living in rural and remote regions.

"Further, we support the committee in acknowledging that MAID may be performed by a nurse practitioner, or a registered nurse working under the direction of a physician, by recommending an exemption for RNs, NPs and physicians under sections 14 and 241(b) of the Criminal Code. This change would protect from prosecution nurses and other health professionals involved in MAID.

"CNA is a strong proponent of the need for ongoing, national oversight and analysis of MAID as it unfolds. We strongly support the recommendations for yearly national reporting to Parliament and mandatory statutory review of the applicable federal legislation on a regular, cyclical basis. CNA also looks forward to working with the professional regulatory bodies and other stakeholders to define the eventual implications for nursing practice."

CNA looks forward to the federal government's response to the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in the Carter case, and we will continue meeting with parliamentarians and officials in the near future.

CNA is the national professional voice representing nearly 139,000 registered nurses in Canada. 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: Marc Bourgeois, Director of Public Affairs and Member Engagement, Canadian Nurses Association, Telephone: 613-237-2159, ext. 252 Cell: 613-864-1371, E-mail:


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