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FACP. Colegio de médicos de Tarragona Nº 4305520 / fgcapriles@gmail.com




Thursday, June 23, 2016

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID)

An online community of practice for Canadian EM physicians
 CanadiEM - By Francis Bakewell - June 22, 2016
"After an excellent introduction to Medical Assistance in Dying, and its potential impact upon the Healthcare System, Dr. Francis Bakewell takes a further look at potential implications and ramifications within the Emergency Department (ED). 
Last week, after much review and attempts at amendment by the Senate, the federal government’s legislation on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) received royal assent and became law. Bill C14 allows for aid in dying, either through prescription of lethal medication or through administration of medication, to be provided to persons over the age of 18 who meet all of the following criteria:
  • Have a serious and incurable illness, disease, or disability
  • Are in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability
  • Have enduring physical or psychological suffering as a result of their illness and decline that is intolerable to them and cannot be relieved under conditions they find acceptable
  • Have a reasonably foreseeable death (though a prognosis as to specific length of time remaining does not necessarily need to have been made)
While its exact impact remains to be seen, the legalization of MAID in Canada is likely to have effects throughout medicine, including in the emergency department. We may see it come up in end-of-life discussions, in the care of patients with potential complications, or simply in deciding how to treat a patient who comes in after an attempted suicide. Direct experience with MAID in the ED may turn out to be uncommon, but it is precisely in preparing for the uncommon but complicated that the practice of emergency medicine distinguishes itself. We’d be well served to plan for it now."