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Medical Assistance in Dying

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) is a procedure where the administrating of medication by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner is intentionally and safely given to end a person’s life.

Federal law governs who is eligible to receive MAiD, and patients wishing to receive MAiD must meet all criteria outlined. To learn more about the criteria, please see the Frequently Asked Questions below.

MAID Resources

Supports for those during all stages of MAiD, patient and family (ensure link from site)


If you have questions, please discuss with your physician or nurse practitioner or another member of your care team. For more information about MAiD, contact Southlake’s MAiD program at 905-895-4521 ext. 2326 or email maid@southlake.ca

Please note that this information was referenced from The Ottawa Hospital.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. You can change your mind at any time, for any reason. Simply tell your physician, nurse practitioner or a member of your health-care team that you have changed your mind. Your physician or nurse practitioner will discuss what other options are available for your care, and you can be assured that they will all be high-quality and compassionate.

Your provider will also give you an opportunity to change your mind just prior to the provision of MAID.

You must be able to ask for medical assistance in dying at the time of the request. It cannot be written down ahead of time and no one else, including family, can make the decision.

No, you do not have to undergo treatment before requesting medical assistance in dying. The assessor will confirm that you are aware of what is available to you to relieve your suffering, including counselling services, mental health and disability support services, community services and palliative care.

In order for MAiD to occur a series of steps must be followed. There are two pathways for patients. The first id if you have a reasonably foreseeable natural death the second is if your death is not reasonably foreseeable. Your health condition will determine which pathway you are required to follow in order to determine if you are eligible to receive MAiD. Timing will be discussed with a member of the MAiD program, and/or the physician or NP doing the assessment for MAiD.

Step 1: Written Request

  • You must make a written request for medical assistance in dying.
  • You can access the Ontario Ministry of Health MAiD Written request form here:

Clinician Aid A

  • Your signature must be witnessed by one independent witness, who must sign the document at the same time.
  • An independent witness must be 18 years of age or older and understand what it means to request medical assistance in dying.

To be considered independent, the witness cannot:

  • Be your assessor or provider of MAiD
  • Be named in your will, or benefit from your death
  • Be an owner or operator of any health care facility where you live or are being treated, and
  • Be your unpaid caregiver

There is a provision for patients who cannot sign for themselves.

Step 2: Assessments and Eligibility

You will be assessed by at least two independent assessors, (physician or nurse practitioner). The assessment can take up to 1-2 hours per assessment. You may need assessments by other health care professionals to help determine if you meet the eligibility criteria.

For MAiD to occur, both assessors must agree that you meet the eligibility criteria

The assessment may include the following:

  • A review of relevant medical history and your current medical situation.
  • An assessment of your capacity to make decisions.
  • A review of your current medications.
  • A psychosocial assessment.
  • A limited physical examination.
  • A detailed explanation of the MAiD medications and process including which pathway you will follow based on whether your death is reasonably foreseeable.
  • Answering any questions or concerns you or your family may have.

Step 3: Possible waiting period

If it is determined that your death is not reasonably foreseeable and you meet all the criteria, at least 90 days must pass between your first assessment and when MAiD is provided. If your death is determined to be reasonable foreseeable you do not need to wait the 90 days.

Step 4: Provision of MAiD

If you are deemed eligible and decide to proceed with MAiD, some from the MAiD program and/or physician, will work with you to create a detailed plan. This will include a discussion of the date, location, who will be present, and any special arrangements that are required.

It is necessary for the provider to confirm your decision-making capacity and to receive your consent immediately prior to the provision of MAiD. This is an important safeguard for your protection.

In Ontario a law has been passed that ensures that the choice of MAiD as an end-of-life option may not be used as a reason to deny insurance benefits under a valid policy.

If you are eligible for publically funded health care services in Canada then the cost of the assessments, medication and procedure are fully covered.

Yes, you can call our MAiD program at 905-895-4521, ext. 2326 or email maid@southlake.ca

To be capable to make decisions about your healthcare, you must:

  • Understand and remember information that is relevant to making a decision about your medical treatment.
  • Appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of a decision, or failing to make a decision.
  • The medical condition of people approaching end-of-life can change rapidly, and can result in loss of capacity. If you are at risk of losing capacity, options may be available to you, your MAiD assessor will discuss this with you.

The Office of the Chief Coroner must investigate cases of medical assistance in dying and will be contacted just after MAID has been provided. Usually, a representative from the coroner’s office will wish to speak briefly to a patient’s family member at this time.

Healthcare providers have the right to conscientiously object and not participate in medical assistance in dying based on moral or religious beliefs. If you request medical assistance in dying from a healthcare provider who objects, they have an obligation to provide you with an effective and timely referral.

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) is a procedure where the administrating of medication by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner is intentionally and safely given to end a person life. This is governed by federal law.

To be eligible, a patient must:

  • Be eligible for publicly funded healthcare services in Canada
  • Be 18 years of age or older and capable of making decisions with respect to their health
  • Have a serious and incurable illness, disease, or disability;
  • Be in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capabilities; and
  • Be enduring physical or psychological suffering, caused by the medical condition or the state of decline, that is intolerable to you and cannot be relieved under conditions that you consider acceptable
  • Have all the information required to make informed decisions; specifically about your medical diagnosis, available forms of treatment and options to relieve your suffering, including palliative care, and
  • Made a voluntary request for MAiD that was not made as a result of external pressure.