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Statement from Anne Sutherland Boal on Bill C-14

Ottawa, May 17, 2016 — “The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) believes that the federal government’s proposed approach to Bill C-14 demonstrates a clear understanding and recognition of the nursing role in medical assistance in dying (MAID), both when nurses serve as primary care providers, as in the case of nurse practitioners (NPs), and when they are part of an interdisciplinary health-care team. NPs across Canada provide comprehensive care to all ages in many settings and are licensed to, among other things, assess, admit, prescribe medications, and make patient referrals. There are currently over 4,500 NPs who are the primary care providers for over three million Canadians.

“Bill C-14 – An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and to Make Related Amendments to Other Acts (Medical Assistance in Dying) ensures that Canada has a more compassionate health-care system that empowers patients with grievous and irremediable medical conditions to make choices about their end of life. CNA believes the successful passing of the bill will be both compassionate and protective to patients, families and care providers. The proposed legislation offers safeguards to protectthe most vulnerable Canadians and protection from criminal prosecution for nurses and the expanded health-care team.

“Medical assistance in dying is an extremely challenging matter. Canada’s nurses share the concerns of every Canadian in relation to this bill, and understand the many dimensions of the issue as raised from all sides. For nearly two years, CNA has participated at every opportunity to offer advice and amendments to be considered in the proposed legislation, as have innumerable other groups and individuals and, at this critical juncture, we support the passing of the bill.

“The passage of Bill C-14 is only a beginning. There will be extensive work required across jurisdictions and among many stakeholders, including nursing regulatory bodies, educators and employers.  Accordingly, CNA is steadfast in our commitment to work with federal/provincial/territorial nursing partners to develop a national nursing framework on MAID, in parallel with improved palliative and end-of-life care.

“CNA supports the expeditious passing of Bill C-14. As the implementation and practices surrounding MAID are developed, we will continue to work constructively with the federal government, parliamentarians, and provincial and territorial governments (through our provincial and territorial members and nursing specialty groups, including the Canadian Association of Advanced Practice Nurses and the Canadian Nurses Protective Society) to ensure compassionate and safe end-of-life care for all Canadians.”

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For more information, please contact:

Kevin Ménard
Communications Advisor
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel.: 613-237-2159, ext. 543
E-mail: kmenard@cna-aiic.ca