End-of-life care policy gets green light
We believe providing quality care should encompass the entire span of patients’ lives, including at the very end of their lives. Quality end-of-life care aims to reduce suffering, respect the wishes of patients, and lessen conflict and distress.
To provide guidance to physicians in assisting patients to identify meaningful and realistic goals of care that are compassionate, respectful and aligns with their values and beliefs, our Council has approved the Planning for and Providing Quality End-of-Life Care Policy. It replaces the Decision-making for the End of Life Policy. The former policy was reviewed under the College’s regular policy review cycle and underwent an extensive public consultation.
In the draft version of the policy, there was a requirement that consent be obtained for a no-CPR order. This requirement has been revised. The final policy emphasizes good and effective communication and a robust conflict resolution process. In particular, physicians are required to engage patients or substitute decision-makers in a discussion before writing a no-CPR order and engage in conflict resolution if the patient or substitute decision-maker disagrees and insists that CPR be provided.
Should the patient arrest, while conflict resolution regarding a no-CPR order is underway, the policy requires physicians to provide CPR in good faith and using their professional judgment. In accordance with a recent Supreme Court of Canada decision, the policy requires physicians to obtain consent in order to withdraw life-sustaining treatment.
For more information on the College’s Planning for and Providing Quality End-of-Life Care Policy visit our Planning for and Providing Quality End-of-Life Care page and read the article in Dialogue.
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