Frequently Asked Questions
For answers to frequently asked questions about MAiD, click the links below.
With recent changes to the legislation, a wider group of people are now eligible to apply for and receive MAiD. Changes to the legislation went into effect on March 17, 2021.
- To be eligible for medical assistance in dying, you must meet all of the criteria below:
- You are at least 18 years of age;
- You are eligible for publicly funded health services in Canada;
- You are able to make decisions about your health and provide
informed consent to receive MAiD;
- You have a
grievous and irremediable medical condition, which means:
- You have been diagnosed with a serious and incurable illness, disease, or disability;
- Your medical condition has advanced or declined to the point where it cannot be reversed; and
- You experience unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be relieved under conditions that you consider acceptable;
- You have been informed of the methods available to relieve your suffering, including palliative care; and
- You are making this request of your own free will, without pressure or influence from others.
- Currently, the MAiD legislation does not recognize mental illness as a disease, incurable illness, or disability.
- You do not need to have a fatal or terminal condition to be eligible for MAiD.
- Only doctors and nurse practitioners can administer MAiD. If you are receiving care from PHSA and wish to explore MAiD, your health care provider can connect you with a health care professional from your local regional health authority who can assist you through the process, or you can contact PHSA's Medical Assistance in Dying Care Coordination office at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-844-851-MAID (6243).
Talk with your own doctor, nurse practitioner or other available health care provider who can discuss your medical condition and the services or treatments available to you. Treatment options may include comfort care, pain control, palliative care, or other options. You are not required to accept any of these services but we must ensure that you know about them as you consider medical assistance in dying.
Be sure to tell your doctor or nurse practitioner how you would like to involve your family, friends, or others in the MAiD discussions and process. Considering whether to proceed with this option is a deeply personal matter. In addition to speaking with their doctor or other care providers, PHSA encourages anyone thinking about it to talk with their family, friends, and anyone else who can support them through the process.
It is important to understand that not all doctors or nurse practitioners can assist you with this process. However, they are expected to
connect you with other care providers who can help you explore your request.
If you wish to request MAiD, your health care provider will ask you to complete and submit the Request for Medical Assistance in Dying (Form 1632). By submitting this form, you are formally asking for MAiD and stating that you believe you meet all the eligibility criteria.
Once the form is complete, submit it to the MAiD Care Coordination Office or your regional health authority. The PHSA MAiD Care Coordination Office will connect with your local regional health authority to assess your eligibility and, if you decide to continue, to provide medical assistance in dying.
You should be aware that you can submit your request, receive your assessment and eligibility status before you decide whether or not to proceed with MAiD. The process may take as long as you wish. Should you decide to pause the process, you may resume it at any time.
- You can talk to any of your health care providers, review the resources linked on this page, or contact the Provincial Health Service Authority (PHSA) MAiD Office:
- Information for patients on medical assistance in dying:
Upon receipt of your completed Request Form, the MAiD Care Coordination Office will arrange for two doctors or nurse practitioners to assess your eligibility. During the assessment, each assessor will ensure that you are aware of the other options available to alleviate your suffering, that you meet the criteria for medical assistance in dying and that you have the capacity to make this important decision. Additional assessments may be required to ensure you meet all eligibility criteria around eligible conditions and informed consent.
Once the assessors determine that you are eligible to receive MAiD, you may select a date for your assisted death. Depending on your condition, there may be differences at this point.
If your natural death is not
reasonably foreseeable, there is a period of assessment of at least 90 days from the start of your first MAiD assessment, unless you are at immediate risk of losing your capacity to consent on your chosen day of your assisted death. You must be able to give express consent to receiving MAiD immediately before the procedure is provided.
If your death is considered reasonably foreseeable, you may proceed with your assisted death whenever you are ready. If you are at risk of losing your capacity to provide informed consent before your desired date for your planned death, a waiver of final consent is now possible. You would discuss this with your MAiD provider, and a form would need to be completed.
If you decide to continue, MAiD will be provided to you by the method of your choice, and to the greatest extent possible at a location of your choosing by one of the two assessors.
The health care team will continue to care for you at every stage of this process and will provide assistance in arranging support to make you as comfortable as possible.
- In Canada, medical assistance in dying has been legal since June 2016. MAiD is provided to a patient in accordance with the Criminal Code of Canada, which outlines the eligibility requirements and process.
- A revised law was passed on March 17, 2021, which amends the Criminal Code to allow MAiD for those individuals whose natural death is not reasonably foreseeable.
- By March 2023, a process for people for whom mental illness is the sole underlying health condition will be developed and implemented.