Oversight of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in Canada

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Summary

Oversight of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in Canada: A Mixed-Methods Report of What We Have and What We Should Have

 

Ellen Wiebe, MD, University of British Columbia, Department of Family Practice

Michaela Kelly, MSc

Kaity Lalonde, MD, University of British Columbia, Department of Family Practice

 

 

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Medical assistance in dying (MAiD) has been legal in Canada since 2016. The federal government regulates reporting of MAiD, but not oversight. Health care is a provincial responsibility, so each province or territory has different protocols for the monitoring and oversight of MAiD and there are various levels of oversight across Canada. The objectives of this study are to understand the current oversight practices and the views of stakeholders about what should be implemented. Methods: We used a mixed-methods design with the following components: a review of current oversight practices based on provincial and federal websites and interviews with key informants; an online survey of MAiD providers, which asked about the problems with and best practices for MAiD oversight; and a Survey Monkey panel survey of the general public over 50 years of age, which described the current oversight of MAiD and asked about what would be the best oversight. Results: Current practices ranged from reporting (no oversight) in some provinces to review by an interdisciplinary committee (true oversight) in others. Most MAiD providers were satisfied with the level of oversight within their provinces. The general public were more likely to favour true oversight by an interdisciplinary committee before or after provision of MAiD. Conclusions: The policies about oversight of MAiD in Canada must consider the perceptions and preferences of both MAiD providers and the general public. This report gives policy makers the information required to have informed discussion about MAiD oversight in Canada.

DATES: Submission: July 13, 2021 | Publication: August 16, 2021

CITATION: Wiebe, E et al (2021). Oversight of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in Canada: A Mixed-Methods Report of What We Have and What We Should Have. Canadian Health Policy, August 2021. ISSN 2562-9492  www.canadianhealthpolicy.com

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