Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID)


Bill C-14 received royal assent and became law on June 17, 2016. Bill C-14 is available here .

Medical Assistance in Dying

Updated July 20, 2016

What is the Carter Decision?

As many of you are aware, on February 6th, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the law prohibiting physician-assisted dying for competent adults who have a grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes enduring suffering. The decision was to come into effect on February 6th, 2016.  In January the Attorney General of Canada applied for a six-month extension to make necessary legislative changes. A four-month extension was granted and the decision was to come into effect June 6th, 2016. 

Bill C-14, an Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying) received Royal Assent June 17th, 2016 after being passed by both the House of Commons and the Senate. Click here for a copy of Bill C-14

What does this decision mean for practicing RNs and NPs?

Amendments to Bill C -14 allow nurse practitioners as well as physicians to provide this service. RNs and other health-care providers are permitted to assist physicians or nurse practitioners in medical assistance in dying without risk of criminal charges.  RNs cannot administer any medication for the purpose of medical assistance in dying. The legislation requires eligibility criteria and safeguards to be followed. It is important you are aware of the eligibility criteria and safeguards.

What is currently happening?

RNANT/NU encourages you to read the post “Medical Assistance in Dying: What Every Nurse Should Know” on the Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS) website at , Bill C-14 posted above and the Frequently Asked Question posted below.

If you are asked to participate/assist with medical assistance in dying, you should contact RNANT/NU at 1-867-873-2745 or email

On October 13, 2016 CNPS will host a webinar, "Fall 2016 Update on New Law of Medical Assistance in Dying". Amendments to the Criminal Code to permit medical assistance in dying came into law on 17 June 2016. Attend this webinar to understand what the changes mean for you as a registered nurse or nurse practitioner.

When: Thursday, October 13, 2016 10:00:00 AM MDT - 11:00:00 AM MDT

To register or for more information visit the CNPS event page here

For answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about MAID for RNs and NPs, click here

Revised Medical Assistance in Dying Interim Guidelines for the Northwest Territories is available here (updated June 29, 2016).

More information from CNPS regarding MAID is available here

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Yellowknife, NT  X1A 2R1
Phone: 867-873-2745
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X1A 3R9

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