Chapter 5: Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID)

Introduction

Medical assistance in dying (MAID) is legal in Canada. There are guidelines for eligibility, with formal application and approval processes, some of which are unique to each province and territory.

Although it’s unlikely that as a paramedic you’ll be directly involved in MAID, you may be:

  • Called to transport a patient who’s being moved from one location to another to receive MAID.

  • Advised when you’re at a palliative care call that the patient has decided on a medically assisted death at some point in the future.

  • Called to respond to a secondary medical event or emergency in a location where a patient is undergoing MAID (medical emergency of a family member during MAID for example).

  • Called to manage unexpected symptoms or complications during a MAID event.

Regardless of how you encounter MAID events in your jurisdiction, it’s not uncommon for health care professionals to field questions about hastening death (this was the case even before medical assistance was legal). It’s likely that you’ll care for patients who want to talk about MAID, or you may be engaged in referring patients to other resources. This may add a layer of additional complexity to the palliative care call depending on your familiarity with MAID and your personal beliefs.

See also:Government of Canada web page on MAID