Should palliative care physicians get involved with MAID?

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 59 , No. 3 , April 2017 , Pages 147 Letters

As a palliative care physician who is also involved with medical assistance in dying (MAID), I would encourage my palliative care colleagues (who are not conscientious objectors) to get more involved as well. By doing so, you would get to better understand which BC residents are actually requesting MAID and why they are doing so rather than relying on data from the Netherlands or Belgium or other foreign lands. Instead of waiting until national/provincial statistics are compiled and released, why not get involved as assessors/providers now? MAID is provided right now in some BC tertiary palliative care units and hospices where the residents are obviously getting expert palliative care but still want MAID. Humility demands that we acknowledge that in spite of the best that palliative care can provide, some Canadians will still choose to hasten their death, and I am thankful that it is now legal to do so. It does not have to be either/or. We (palliative care physicians) should still advocate fiercely for access to palliative care for Canadians while honoring the wishes of those who wish to avail themselves of MAID.
—Jyothi Jayaraman, MBBS
Vancouver

Jyothi Jayaraman, MBBS. Should palliative care physicians get involved with MAID?. BCMJ, Vol. 59, No. 3, April, 2017, Page(s) 147 - Letters.



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