Chapter 5: Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID)

Seeking information

As a paramedic, your interactions with patients are fairly brief compared to the relationships that are often built with other health care providers over the course of the illness trajectory. It’s important to recognize that MAID can be a polarizing topic for both families and health care team members, so there may be a number of reasons why a patient choses to engage you in this discussion.

Seeking additional information can assist you in formulating a response:

  • Have they discussed MAID with their primary health care team? If not, are they comfortable doing so?

  • Have they reached out to their care team but not yet received the information they are looking for?
  • Are other members of their health care team unwilling to provide additional information or address their questions about MAID?

  • Does the patient want you to keep your conversation about MAID confidential (from their family or other members of their care team)? Or are they comfortable with you disclosing their desire to talk about MAID so additional follow up can occur?

Conversation Prompts

I understand you have question on MAID. Your health team is the best source of information.

Do you want me to share your desire to discuss MAID with your other health care providers? 

Have you talked to your family about this? Do you want me to mention it to them or would you like me to keep this confidential? 

The decision to request medical assistance in dying is very personal and complex, and may not make sense to anyone except the patient. You may find this conversation challenging if you have strong personal feelings that run counter to MAID.

For additional information on talking with children, see Module 6, Supporting the patient and family - Chapter 3, Involving and supporting children.


See also:How to Explain MAID to children in Health Canada information and links to provincial and territorial resources