Expected/Planned Home Deaths

The province of British Columbia developed the Joint Protocol For Expected/Planned Home Deaths in British Columbia (PDF, 635KB) to support individuals to die at home with their families or caregivers.

The Protocol provides guidance to individuals at the end of their lives, families, and health care providers on how to have an expected/planned natural home death. It provides clarity to roles, responsibilities, and activities involved in a home death. For more information on the Joint Protocol speak to your community nurse, family physician or see How to Arrange for Care.

If you wish to plan an expected natural home death, please review the following forms and information:

  • A No Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) form (PDF, 643KB) is required to document an individual's wishes and a physician’s order to withhold CPR.
  • A Notification of Expected Death in the Home form (PDF, 67KB) is completed by the patient’s physician and sent to the funeral home before the death. This   form allows a Funeral Director to remove a body from a home without pronouncement of death. Pronouncement of death is not required by BC law, although it is widely recognized that pronouncement is sound clinical and ethical practice for nurses and physicians. There may be circumstances when pronouncement is difficult or families choose to waive pronouncement.
  • If a person dies in British Columbia, the death must be registered with the Vital Statistics Agency. A Medical Certificate of Death form is completed by the physician within 48 hours after a death. The medical certificate of death is forwarded to the funeral director who will register the death. The funeral director can then issue a death certificate and burial permit.
  • Additional Questions and Answers (PDF, 321KB) about expected/planned home deaths.

The Joint Protocol is the result of collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Health, health authorities, BC Ambulance Service, the Office of the Chief Coroner, BC Medical Association, BC College of Physicians and Surgeons, BC Hospice Palliative Care Association, College of Registered Nurses of BC, Funeral Service Association of BC, RCMP “E” Division, (former) BC Health Association, BC Care Providers Association, and BC Municipal Police Chiefs Association.