What is Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID)?

By Sherri Gallant -- Senior Communications Advisor - AHS South Zone
March 11, 2019 - 8:08pm Updated: March 16, 2019 - 10:03am

LETHBRIDGE -- End-of-life choices are important, sensitive and emotional.  MAID is a healthcare option available to Albertans at the end of life.  It allows a capable adult suffering from a grievous and irremediable medical condition to voluntarily request medicine that will bring about their death.

There are five phases of MAID:

Pre-contemplation — looking at and thinking about end-of-life care options
Contemplation — getting information about end-of-life care options.
Determination — assessment of eligibility and formal request for MAID
Action — confirming the request and patient death
Care after death — grief support

You may move back and forth between the phases, or choose not to proceed at any point. To qualify for this service, you must meet all of the eligibility criteria set out by federal law. Information about this law can be found here.

The AHS Care Co-ordination Service is the single point of contact for you and your family to learn more about the end-of-life choices available.

You can contact the Care Coordination Service at [email protected] or by calling Health Link at 811.

If you would like to learn more about medical assistance in dying, you can also talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner and your family. You can find helpful tips for this conversation here.

After thinking about the information in this brochure, you may wish to move to the contemplation phase. This means you would like more information on choices available at the end of life, including advance-care planning, palliative care or medical assistance in dying.

The steps for getting more information about medical assistance in dying can be found in the brochure titled Medical Assistance in Dying – Getting More Information.

You can change your mind about your end-of-life choices including medical assistance in dying at any time. AHS is committed to supporting your informed healthcare decisions. This means your right to consent to, withdraw from, and refuse healthcare will be respected. AHS is also committed to ensuring your dignity is maintained regardless of your choices — and providing you with our support throughout your journey.

Questions? Email [email protected] or visit MAID on the web.

Online health records now available in Alberta

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