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.