Patients and Families
Currently, only the provincial medical assistance in dying (MAID) team is authorized to provide medical assistance in dying within regional health care facilities. The MAID team is able to facilitate medical assistance in dying throughout the province and can work alongside your regular health care team.
Before a patient is able to have medical assistance in dying, a review must be completed to see if they are eligible. This process is required by law. It also ensures the patient is aware of all available care options and has the information needed to make an informed decision.
The process* for determining eligibility for medical assistance in dying in Manitoba generally takes at least two weeks and includes:
- Connecting with the provincial medical assistance in dying clinical team
- This can be done by the patient, a family member, friend or a health care provider
- After connecting with the MAID team a patient wanting to receive medical assistance in dying will speak with a nurse about their medical history and facilitate access to their medical records. The MAID team will review medical records from their primary health care team as well as relevant specialists, diagnostic imaging and lab reports. If, based on this review of medical records, the patient is likely to meet the criteria in the law and still wants to proceed, the MAID team will arrange for independent physician reviews.
- The law requires two independent reviews for eligibility.
- In Manitoba these reviews are done by a team made up of a physician, nurse and social worker.
- The reviews can take place in a hospital, clinic or at the patient’s home and can occur before or after the written request (see below).
- Written Request
- Patients must complete a written request for medical assistance in dying which must be signed in the presence of two independent witnesses (restrictions apply).
- For patients unable to write, another adult who meets the criteria of a proxy can sign the request on the patients behalf
- There must be a minimum of 10 clear days between the day the request is signed and the day medical assistance in dying is provided.
- For example, if the request is signed on October 1st, the earliest date the patient could receive medical assistance in dying would be on October 12th.
- Preparing for a medically assisted death
- If the patient decides to proceed with an assisted death, the patient and the physician(s) involved will arrange a time and place. Medical assistance in dying can be provided at home or in a health care facility*.
- At the time medical assistance in dying is provided, the patient must be competent and provide consent for an assisted death.
- The physician(s) involved will provide or administer the medications, monitor the patient, confirm the patient has died and complete the required documentation including the Registration of Death and Medical Certificate of Death (commonly referred to as the death certificate).
- The patient is free to change their mind at any time including immediately before medical assistance in dying is provided.