Medical assistance in dying is one of a number of choices that can be considered in end-of-life care at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare.
End-of-life care planning is very personal, and is designed to be respectful of your personal values and beliefs and to ensure that you and your family are treated with dignity.
Since medical assistance in dying became legal in June 2016, a great deal of work has occurred at MAHC to ensure that our patients have access to all aspects of end-of-life care, including medical assistance in dying, and that our staff and physicians have a framework that guides them in this new practice. There are two ways in which this medical assistance in dying can ultimately occur:
- A doctor will provide the patient with a prescription for a fatal dose of medication to end his/her own life, or
- A doctor administers medications to the patient that ends the patient’s life. This is also known as voluntary euthanasia.
Requests for medical assistance in dying must come from a capable and competent adult who meets all of the eligibility criteria, without pressure from others. Substitute Decision Makers, Powers of Attorney and/or family members cannot make this decision and advance directives cannot be used to request medical assistance in dying. To qualify for medical assistance in dying, you are required to meet all of the following criteria:
- Eligible for health services funded by a government of Canada
- At least 18 years of age
- Capable of making decisions about your health care
- Suffer from a serious and incurable illness, disease or disability
- Are in an advanced state of irreversible decline that is causing enduring physical or psychological suffering that is intolerable
- Natural death is reasonably foreseeable
- Give informed consent in writing
It is important to consider details like where you wish to die, the way in which you wish to die, who you would like present at your death, whether you wish to have your pet(s) present, whether you wish to have music playing or someone reading to you, and how you would like your loved ones supported following your death.
At any point, if you change your mind you can withdraw your consent to proceed with medical assistance in dying.
MAHC is committed to ensuring patients will receive high-quality palliative and supportive care throughout the process of requesting medical assistance in dying or any approach to end-of-life care. Visit our website for more information.