NEW! POLICY - Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)
Patient's Death is NOT Reasonably Foreseeable
Patient's Death is Reasonably Foreseeable
While these policies had been approved by the Council at its June 2020 meeting, they were to come into effect when the legislation came into effect. Legislation was not passed until March 2021, but it differed from what had been anticipated. As such, these policies were updated to ensure consistency with changes to the MAiD legislation in June 2021. Those legislative amendments included the removal of the criterion requiring that a person’s natural death must be reasonably foreseeable, a time-limited exclusion from eligibility for individuals whose sole underlying medical condition is a mental illness, and a two-track approach to procedural safeguards for practitioners to follow, based on whether or not the individual’s natural death is reasonably foreseeable.
The requirements for MAiD for an individual whose death is reasonably foreseeable are largely unchanged from the legislation in effect in 2016. One notable change is a patient’s ability to make an advance request that they be provided MAiD if they lose consciousness before MAiD can be administered.
There were significant changes to the MAiD legislation addressing the provision of MAiD to patients whose death is not reasonably foreseeable. Those include: 1) a 90-day waiting period before MAiD can be provided; 2) a requirement that a physician or nurse practitioner with expertise in the condition causing the suffering must provide a written opinion which confirms that the person meets the criteria for MAiD; 3) increased requirements to advise patients of resources that may be available to address their suffering; and 4) that a patient cannot provide an advance directive that MAiD be provided if they lose capacity before MAiD is provided.
Both policies are comprehensive and address the legal requirements and College expectations for physicians dealing with a request for MAiD, both in relation to patients whose death is reasonably foreseeable, and patients whose death is not reasonably foreseeable. The policies include relevant definitions and foundational principles; address conscientious objection and the requirements for access to MAiD in the two tracks (death is or is not reasonably foreseeable); address the assessment of capacity and obtaining informed consent; address various issues arising in the administration of MAiD; and address the use of standard forms and requirements for reporting and data collection.
MAiD in Saskatchewan is administered by the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Further information about the program is available here. The program can be contacted at 1-833-473-6243.
POLICY – Opioid Agonist Therapy (OATP) Prescribing and
STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES - CPSS OAT Standards and Guidelines for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder
The Council approved amendments to permit the equivalent of direct training in order for a physician to be approved to prescribe methadone and/or buprenorphine/naloxone. This permits the continuation of a virtual training option that has been successfully piloted during the pandemic.
POLICY – Public Access to Council Documents and Redaction of Sensitive Information Contained Therein
The Council conducted a sunset review of this policy and approved the policy with two changes: 1) the addition of a reference to Council deciding whether a full charge or synoptic charge should be published on the website when it lays a charge of unprofessional conduct, and 2) a reference to the fact that the policy on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) sets out what will be published in the event of an ADR.
POLICY – Physicians at Risk to Patients
This policy underwent a sunset review and was approved with the addition of reference to the duties to report contained within the following: 1) paragraph 31 of the Code of Ethics contained within bylaw 7.1, 2) the policy “Sexual Boundaries ”, 3) the policy “Blood-borne Viruses: Screening, Reporting and Monitoring of Physicians/Medical Students ,” and 4) bylaw 24.1 – “Reporting of Blood-borne Viruses” .
GUIDELINE – Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Guidelines for Clinical Office Practice
This guideline underwent a sunset review and was approved without changes.
POLICY – Scope of Practice Change
This policy underwent a sunset review and a number of amendments were approved. This included an updated format and the addition of a ‘scope of this policy’ section, additional examples of changes in scope of practice, details with respect to supervision, and a ‘resources’ section.