What is Medical Assistance In Dying (MAID)?

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID)—also known as voluntary euthanasia, or assisted suicide—is when you or your health care provider administer prescription medication to assist with your death, with your consent. It is legal in Canada.

There are 2 types of medical assistance in dying available in Canada. They both include a recognized health care provider that:

  • directly gives you the medication, usually by injection, that causes death (clinician-administered)
  • prescribes drugs that the eligible person takes to cause their own death (self-administered)

Many of the drugs used for this procedure are already sold in Canada and used at much lower doses.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible, you must:

If you have a mental illness and this is your only medical condition, you are currently not eligible for medical assistance in dying until after March 17, 2023. After this date, you may be eligible if you meet all the conditions set out for this category of conditions.

Who can carry out a request?

Doctors and nurse practitioners can provide medical assistance in dying; either directly or by prescribing the medication if you are eligible. If you choose to take medication prescribed to you at your own home a pharmacist will dispense your medication and you may have a family member or friend to help you take it at home.

Not all doctors or nurse practitioners are comfortable providing this service. They are not legally required to. If they choose not to, they must refer you to another provider.

Where can I have a request carried out?

Your home, long-term care home, or medical facility (hospital, hospice, or palliative care facility) are all places you can have your request for medical assistance in dying carried out.

How can I make a request?

You must make a request for medical assistance with dying by submitting a Patient Request Form. If you cannot write the request yourself, another adult you trust may be able to do so and sign on your behalf.

Your medical practitioner will make a medical assessment base on whether you are eligible and your situation. A second independent practitioner must also provide a written opinion confirming your eligibility.

Can I change my mind?

You can withdraw your consent at any time during the process. If your request is approved, you must wait at least 90 days between submitting your request and receiving assistance. You can withdraw your consent during this time as well.

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Last updated: July 26, 2021 4006493