In 2016, the federal government changed the Criminal Code to allow eligible Canadians to apply for medical assistance in dying.

Ever since, healthcare professionals and evaluators in the provinces and territories have been constantly improving their service delivery methods and further evolving their practices.

To keep the public informed about the latest procedural updates, Island Health is hosting a free Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) forum on Wednesday, May 16th at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

About MAiD

Medical Assistance in Dying can only be provided by physicians and nurse practitioners, while pharmacists, family members (or other people asked to help), and health care providers who help physicians or nurse practitioners can also help provide the service without being charged under criminal law.

To be eligible, individuals must be over the age of 18, mentally competent, have a “grievous and irremediable medical condition”, make a request for MAiD without being influenced by outside pressure, and give informed consent. Click here for more general information about the process.

Medically Assisted Death in BC

According to reports, British Columbia has had the highest rate of medically assisted death in Canada since it became legal.

According to Island Health’s latest statistics, from June 2016 to March 2018 more than 450 patients in their service area have received MAiD, as an end of life care choice. Just over half (55%) of the assisted deaths occurred in patients’ homes and the leading medical diagnosis, in advance of MAiD service, is cancer (61%). The average age of MAiD patients is 77 years.

In their forum tomorrow, entitled ‘Journeying through Medical Assistance in Dying’, attendees will hear talks from researchers, a physician, and a health system decision-maker.

After that, they will be invited to join a discussion on delivering and receiving MAiD which will be led by a panel of people who have experience supporting their loved ones through the process.

The objective is to help Island Health come up with more patient-oriented research ideas after talking about current practices and reflecting on people’s personal experiences.

Medical Assistance in Dying Forum

  • When: Wednesday, May 16th, 2:30 PM – 5 PM
  • Where: Woodward Room, Begbie Hall, Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria
  • Admission: FREE. Click here to register.

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