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Becoming a medical assistance in dying (MAiD) provider: an exploration of the conditions that produce conscientious participation
  1. Allyson Oliphant1,
  2. Andrea Nadine Frolic2
  1. 1Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Clinical and Organizational Ethics, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Allyson Oliphant, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6G 1H1, Canada; aolipha2{at}uwo.ca

Abstract

The availability of willing providers of medical assistance in dying (MAiD) in Canada has been an issue since a Canadian Supreme Court decision and the subsequent passing of federal legislation, Bill C14, decriminalised MAiD in 2016. Following this legislation, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) in Ontario, Canada, created a team to support access to MAiD for patients. This research used a qualitative, mixed methods approach to data collection, obtaining the narratives of providers and supporters of MAiD practice at HHS. This study occurred at the outset of MAiD practice in 2016, and 1 year later, once MAiD practice was established. Our study reveals that professional identity and values, personal identity and values, experience with death and dying, and organisation context are the most significant contributors to conscientious participation for MAiD providers and supporters. The stories of study participants were used to create a model that provides a framework for values clarification around MAiD practice, and can be used to explore beliefs and reasoning around participation in MAiD across the moral spectrum. This research addresses a significant gap in the literature by advancing our understanding of factors that influence participation in taboo clinical practices. It may be applied practically to help promote reflective practice regarding complex and controversial areas of medicine, to improve interprofessional engagement in MAiD practice and promote the conditions necessary to support moral diversity in our institutions.

  • consciousness
  • euthanasia
  • attitudes toward death
  • care of the dying patient
  • end-of-life
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Footnotes

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This research was approved by the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board (HIREB).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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