A Patient-Oriented Research Approach to Improve Access to and Experiences with Medical Assistance in Dying for Persons Whose Death is not Reasonably Foreseeable

In 2021, the Canadian Government expanded access to medical assistance in dying (MAiD) to persons whose death is not reasonably foreseeable (Track-2 MAiD) with the introduction of Bill C-7. Island Health has consistently had the highest yearly provisions of MAiD in Canada since its legalization in 2016. However, the number of Island Health physicians and nurse practitioners willing to assess and provide Track-2 MAiD is low. Recent media reports and public discussions about Track-2 MAiD have increased the spread of misinformation and mistrust. Our overall goal is to improve experiences with and access to Track-2 MAiD for patients and their families, and to support clinicians assessing and providing this service. To achieve this goal, we will establish a network that consists of patient-partners, multidisciplinary clinicians, researchers, and trainees. Using a transparent, collaborative approach to share knowledge and identify gaps, we will seek to minimize mistrust towards Track-2 MAiD and inform meaningful developments and safeguards in clinical practice. The activities proposed will also help build a research program and the capacity for further meaningful changes that support safe access to and experiences with Track-2 MAiD.