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Nurses' role in physician assisted death

The laws related to physician assisted death will change on June 6, 2016 because of a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling.

Until June 6, 2016, individuals may apply to the Ontario Superior Court Justice for exemptions from the Criminal Code prohibition against physician assisted death. For more information, read this Practice Advisory related to how an application should be brought to the Superior Court.

Nurses should not participate in physician assisted death unless this is done in accordance with an order from the Superior Court of Justice. Nurses may need to consult a lawyer if they are unclear about their role within the Superior Court’s order.

Continue to watch for legal changes that will impact your nursing practice. The College will also monitor changes and update resources as required.

Page last reviewed March 02, 2016