Medical Assistance in Dying: An Ethnographic Study on the Practitioner’s Decision Making in Eligibility Assessments
AuthorFasola, Cynthia Ngozi
Committee MemberPeric, Sabrina
medical assistance in dying
assisted dying policies
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AbstractIn a historic ruling on the 6th of February 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada declared that sections of the Criminal Code of Canada prohibiting medical assisted dying were no longer valid. Following the court's mandate, government laws and provincial policies were passed to facilitate the implementation of this ruling. Regulatory bodies implemented frameworks and policies on the healthcare practitioner's practice of care in assisted dying. This ethnography aimed to examine how Albertan medical assistance in dying (MAiD) assessors and providers understand and apply Alberta Health Services (AHS) policies in determining a patient's eligibility for MAiD provisions. Eight healthcare practitioners participated in semi-structured, in-depth interviews engaging their understanding of critical components of the policies and legislation on MAiD. The three main themes include 1) communication with the patient, 2) the practitioner's comfort level, and 3) the patient's life context. Practitioners centred their decision-making on communication, as well as the relationship between the patient and family. This demonstrates that policies need to reflect the important role of family members in end-of-life care and the practitioner's MAiD eligibility decision-making.
CitationFasola, C. N. (2021). Medical Assistance in Dying: An Ethnographic Study on the Practitioner’s Decision Making in Eligibility Assessments (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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