While RNs may participate in medical assistance in dying when aiding a physician or nurse practitioner, they must understand that they will have a limited role. Only a physician or NP may administer the substance that causes the death.
For more information and guidance on the RN role or conscientious objection, please see the collaborative document: Medical Assistance in Dying: Guidelines for Nurses in Alberta.
CARNA has collaborated with Alberta Health, AHS, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, and the Alberta College of Pharmacists to develop a regulatory framework for medical assistance in dying that is aligned, legally sound, safe and consistent with the amended Criminal Code of Canada. This framework includes additional provincial safeguards for consistency and patient safety.
Only physicians and NPs can assess a person’s eligibility for and provide medical assistance in dying. The eligibility criteria, safeguards that must be met, and the monitoring and reporting requirements are outlined in the following documents:
RNs and NPs with questions or are considering involvement in medical assistance in dying can contact CARNA at email@example.com for practice advice and/or can contact the Canadian Nurses Protective Society at 1.800.267.3390 for liability advice.