Chapter 1: Conversations about the future

Medical assistance in dying (MAiD)

I couldn’t even think or talk about it, but John (my husband) wanted to investigate it further. I knew he was very ill, and it was going to get worse but…?

What is medical assistance in dying (MAiD)?

Medical assistance in dying provides people who may be experiencing intolerable suffering due to a grievous and irremediable (incurable) medical condition the option to end their life with the assistance of a doctor or nurse practitioner. Medical assistance in dying is provided only to legally eligible persons. (Government of British Columba)

Medical assistance in dying (MAID) became legal throughout Canada in 2016 and is still a fairly new procedure here. However, if it is something the patient is interested in exploring, it is important to have open and honest conversations about it. A good place to start is simply asking your healthcare professional for some resources and information.

You may have a variety of thoughts, feelings, and questions about what this might mean for the person who is ill and for you. Having conversations around this topic may be extremely difficult for all involved. Know that you’ll need time to find answers to your questions, and your feelings may change as time passes.

If you or the person who is ill is interested in finding out about MAiD in Canada, you may want to explore some of the resources listed below and then contact your healthcare team.

Helpful resources