Recently updated practice standards and professional guidelines to reflect changing times

The practice standard Medical Assistance in Dying, and accompanying FAQs have been updated to align with Bill C-7, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), which was passed by the federal government on March 17, 2021. This new legislation expands eligibility for medical assistance in dying (MAiD), modifies existing safeguards, adds new safeguards, introduces a waiver of final consent to receive MAiD in certain circumstances, and expands the monitoring regime for MAiD. More information can be found at the Ministry of Health’s Medical Assistance in Dying – Information for Health-Care Providers web page. 

The College published the revised Photographic, Video and Audio Recording of Patients practice standard and Social Media professional guideline on February 26, 2021. Before doing so, feedback was sought from registrants, the public and key health partners including the Ministry of Health, Canadian Medical Protective Association, Doctors of BC, and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine.

Results from this comprehensive review process were brought to the Patient Relations, Professional Standards and Ethics (PRPSE) Committee, which directed that several amendments be made to the drafts. Key revisions made to the Social Media professional guideline include clarifying that registrants are expected to know which social media platforms are open, closed or have end-to-end encryption, expanding the principle on respecting patients’ privacy to include co-workers and colleagues, and reminding registrants to also adhere to their health authority’s social media guidelines.

Key revisions made to the Photographic, Video and Audio Recording of Patients practice standard include changing it from a professional guideline to a practice standard, adding clarification that, in some circumstances, a registrant may deny care if consent is not obtained, outlining expectations of registrants who record patients in public spaces for security purposes, and removing the ability to obtain retroactive consent (if an unexpected recording is deemed necessary, stating that a recording may only be made if the patient has provided their informed consent for the possibility of a recording prior to the procedure).

The College thanks all those who provided their feedback during the consultation process. Registrants who have questions regarding the updated practice standards or professional guidelines can direct their questions to communications@cpsbc.ca.