Changes to Regulatory Bylaws
February 2021

There were no changes to College regulatory bylaws since the last edition of the Newsletter.

 Policy, Standard and Guideline Updates
February 2021

Council regularly reviews the policies, guidelines and standards which are then made available on the College’s website.  Since the last Newsletter, Council has adopted one new guideline and one new standard/guideline document, and has amended two policies and one standard.

NEW!  GUIDELINE – Referral-Consultation Process

Council approved a new guideline that establishes the College’s expectations of referring physicians and consulting physicians when involved in the referral-consultation process, and identifies the guiding principles applicable in that process.  The guideline is intended to help physicians understand their professional and ethical obligations when referring or accepting a patient for consultation.  As a guideline, the document describes practices that are generally recommended by the Council as part of providing quality medical care in a professional manner. 

NEW! STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES - Methadone for Analgesia Standards and Guidelines

Council approved a new standards and guidelines document addressing the use of methadone for analgesia.  Methadone is a very potent synthetic opioid, effective for the management of severe pain associated with chronic conditions or cancer.  However, given its potency and unique pharmacological properties, providers are often hesitant to maintain specialist-initiated therapy.  This document, adapted from the CPSBC guidelines and practice standard, is intended as a resource for physicians who prescribe methadone for pain management.

POLICY – Conscientious Objection

Council conducted a sunset review of this policy.  It was amended to clarify that it does not apply to conscientious objection related to Medical Assistance in Dying, as that is addressed in the College policy “Medical Assistance in Dying.”  For further information, see the article in this issue "Conscientious Objection in Medicine:  Addressing conflict between patient rights and physician freedom of conscience ". 

POLICYStandards for Primary Care

Council conducted a sunset review of this policy.  It was amended to address the “one issue per visit” approach taken by some clinics, clarifying that such a policy is inappropriate.  Rather, if a physician or clinic has established a process to address patients who attend with multiple concerns, such process must include appropriate triaging of the concerns, with possible deferral of some concerns (if safe to do so) until another appointment.  The policy was also amended to reference Bylaw 23.1 relating to the content of medical records as well as a number of relevant CPSS policies and guidelines.

STANDARDS -- Assisted Reproductive Technology

Council conducted a sunset review of this standard.  In addition to several minor amendments, the Council approved deleting the section on qualifications of assisting personnel, and instead added a requirement that the medical director shall ensure staff within the facility are appropriately trained and qualified.