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June 10, 2016 Printable Version

Updated (June 6, 2016) Guidance on Physician-Assisted Death

Physician-Assisted Death - Updated Guidance

On Feb. 6, 2015 — through the Carter v. Canada decision — the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ruled that all provinces and territories in Canada must permit some form of physician-assisted death. At the time of the Carter decision, the SCC granted federal and provincial governments one year to develop a framework to accommodate physician-assisted death.

An additional four-month extension was granted in February 2016, shifting the deadline to develop a framework to June 6, 2016. However, the deadline has now passed and no official legislation is in place. As such, physician-assisted death is lawful only where it is in accordance with the Carter v. Canada decision. 

Since Carter v. Canada does not explicitly exempt pharmacists from criminal liability in providing physician-assisted death, the College recommends that pharmacy professionals seek their own legal advice before providing services to support a physician’s prescription for physician-assisted death.

The College has produced an updated Guidance Document for Pharmacy Professionals regarding Physician-Assisted Death. Please stay tuned for more information about physician-assisted death and the role of pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.


Ministry Open Consultation: Patch for Patch Return Policy

Open consultation
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is proposing a regulation to Bill 33 Safeguarding our Communities Act (Patch for Patch Return Policy), 2015 that would assist with the implementation of a regulated Patch4Patch program in Ontario. The program is designed to safeguard patients relating to the use of fentanyl patches by providing a mechanism to address abuse, misuse, and diversion. 

In addition to those already established in the Act, the proposed regulation sets out requirements for prescribers and pharmacies that dispense fentanyl patches. The ministry is currently seeking feedback on the proposed regulation. In anticipation of the passing of the regulation, the College is currently working with the College of Physicians and Surgeons on a guidance document for physicians and pharmacists.  

Learn more about the open consultation and how to provide your feedback.


Helping You Prepare for a Practice Assessment

Practice Assessment

As you’re likely now aware, the College’s practice assessments now include an assessment of pharmacy operations and an evaluation of an individual(s) practitioner's performance in their practice site.

This is a reminder that in order to help you better understand and/ or prepare for a practice assessment, we’ve posted the Community Pharmacy Operations Assessment Criteria and the Individual Practitioner (Pharmacist) Assessment Criteria on our website.

These documents identify the specific standards that a community practice advisor will focus on during a practice assessment. A guidance section is included to help you better understand and self-evaluate if your current processes, procedures and practice behaviours are effective in meeting the required standard. It’s recommended that all professional and support staff review these important criteria documents.

To learn more, visit the Key Initiative – New Practice Assessments on the College website.

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Ontario College of Pharmacists
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Toronto, ON M5R 2R4