Room for improvement in Ontario’s MAID Care Coordination Service

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    Canada’s one-year-old right-to-die law
    is more successful than most new laws:
    Now about 1% of all deaths are achieved
    using Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD).
    In other places, it has taken years to reach
    this level of public acceptance and use.

    Even Oregon, where most of this movement started 20 years ago,
    still has a rate of less than half of one percent of all deaths.

    It might now be time for some Canadians
    to create their own right-to-die hospice service.

    Traditional hospice and palliative care
    only allows passive means dying.

    But a right-to-die hospice
    would open embrace all legal methods
    of managing the process of dying,
    explicitly including Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD).

    Here is a Facebook Group
    where advocates of the right-to-die can find one another,
    possibly empowering some to create
    their own local right-to-die hospice.
    A handbook is linked,
    offering philosophical and practice help
    in getting a right-to-die hospice started.

  2. kathy kastner (@KathyKastner)

    In response to your comment re intolerable suffering that doesn’t meet MAID requirements: “Requests like these clearly reflect an underlying unmet need for medical attention; these patients should be redirected to their primary health care practitioner or, in some cases, to mental health services, not the limited pool of MAID experts who are already struggling to keep up with an ever-increasing case load”. While I appreciate and support the sentiments you express: getting much-needed medical attention might well nullify the request for MAID – it’s not so simple. This ignores another huge problem equivalent to the ‘limited pool of MAID experts’ – there’s an equally limited number of mental health experts along with access to a primary care practitioner.

  3. Julia Peart

    Thank you for this thoughtful and balanced critique of the MAID system as it stands in Ontario today. I echo your comments loudly in support for more robust supports to this important program and developing field of end of life care.

  4. Saria Reynolds MSW, RSW

    I appreciate your comprehensive a compassionate breakdown of how to provide better care to those (and their families/loved ones) in search of MAiD services. As a social worker passionate about end of life options a LOT more needs to be done on educating both the public and professionals.

  5. Adam Jones

    A good, fair article that speaks to the challenges surrounding the MAID infrastructure in this province . Well done and thank you.

  6. Sean Hillman

    Having dementia itself does not disqualify a person from MAiD eligibility…lacking the capacity to make the decision for MAiD does. Although cognitive interferences can intersect with and impact capacity, they are distinct.

  7. Sheila Dorsch

    Thank you Ed for your holistic view of the MAID process. I am currently putting a presentation together for my Masters in Education with a specialization in Gerontology and I have been wanting to focus on ways Hospice and Palliative Care and MAID can co-exist with one another. I am a hospice volunteer for the Waterloo Region and currently have a ALS client who is 55. I have been with him for over a year now. He holds such comfort to know that he has a choice to die on his own terms. You have covered so many topics of interest so I thank you. I embraced your writing and am proud to see that you carry your values so close to your work. I can only imagine, with such few doctors who perform MAID, how important self care is in order to continue your incredibly selfless act of human kindness. Bravo.

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