“Being a part of a patient’s end of-life journey is such a privilege and it’s extremely rewarding to be a part of this conversation about medical assistance in dying.”
The end of one’s life requires specialized care, just as any other point in a patient’s journey. Hamilton Health Sciences offers various end-of-life care services for patients and families at its hospital sites.
For example, St. Peter’s Hospital is home to Canada’s largest adult inpatient palliative care program, which focuses on optimizing quality of life for patients with life-limiting conditions. These palliative care specialists often collaborate with the Assisted Dying Resource and Assessment Service (ADRAS) to ensure that patients receive the best possible palliative care during the process of MAiD, or medical assistance in dying.
“ADRAS is a multidisciplinary team that is unique to Hamilton Health Sciences,” says Samantha Jansen, MAiD Program Coordinator. “The team is responsible for the assessment of adult patients who are considered for MAiD, as well as the provision of MAiD to those who are eligible.”
Patients who apply must meet a number of legal and medical criteria and must be capable of giving their consent right up to the actual provision of MAiD. The process involves administering various medications to the patient that results in a peaceful and painless death.
“In preparation for MAiD, some patients plan a special celebration of life that might include a final meal with family, the reading of a poem or the playing of a song that has special meaning,” says Marta Simpson, MAiD Program Coordinator. “Being a part of a patient’s end of-life journey is such a privilege and it’s extremely rewarding to be a part of this conversation about medical assistance in dying.”