Medical assistance in dying (MAID)
Contact the CMPA and schedule time to speak to a physician advisor
Call us at 1-800-267-6522 (in Ottawa area:
Updated: September 2023
MAID continues to be a complex and evolving medico-legal issue. CMPA is committed to keeping you up-to-date to support patient safety and help minimize medico-legal risk.
Medico-legal principles and duties
Can I use virtual care to offer medical assistance in dying services (MAID)?
Since MAID remains a highly regulated procedure governed by the Criminal Code, physicians must continue to ensure compliance with all legal requirements for the provision of MAID. This includes ensuring that any delivery of virtual care is performed with all participants located in Canada.
Physicians will also want to be aware of their College’s policies and standards, hospital/ health authority policies and public health measures that may impact the delivery of MAID services. Some Colleges invite physicians to consider virtual assessments in the context of MAID, suggesting that virtual assessments may be possible in accordance with the College policies. Patients self-administering oral medications as a means of receiving MAID without a physician present create unique challenges that need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
A patient’s request for MAID must be made before one independent witness. Witnesses participating in a virtual manner may also be an option if careful arrangements are made to ensure compliance with statutory requirements.
As always, physicians should carefully document the MAID process, including what aspects of the process were delivered through virtual care. Given the additional difficulties related to the provision of MAID through virtual care, members are encouraged to contact CMPA to obtain case-specific medico-legal advice.