Medical assistance in dying (MAID) became legal in Canada in June 2016. Canada’s Criminal Code now exempts doctors and nurse practitioners who provide, or help to provide, medical assistance in dying.
“Medical assistance in dying” currently includes:
- the use of medication by a physician or nurse practitioner to directly cause a person’s death at their request
- the prescription or provision of medication by a physician or nurse practitioner that a person can use to cause their own death
The law currently sets out eligibility criteria for those who wish to apply for MAID. It also sets out safeguards that doctors and nurse practitioners must follow when deciding if a patient qualifies for MAID, in particular to make sure that the patient requesting MAID is fully informed and has given their consent freely.