Access Isn’t Enough: Evaluating the Quality of a Hospital Medical Assistance in Dying Program Journal Articles uri icon

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  • AbstractFollowing an initial study of the needs of healthcare providers (HCP) regarding the introduction of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), and the subsequent development of an assisted dying program, this study sought to determine the efficacy and impact of MAiD services following the first two years of implementation. The first of three aims of this research was to understand if the needs, concerns and hopes of stakeholders related to patient requests for MAiD were addressed appropriately. Assessing how HCPs and families perceived the quality of MAiD services, and determining if the program successfully accommodated the diverse needs and perspectives of HCPs, rounded out this quality evaluation. This research implemented a mixed-methods design incorporative of an online survey with Likert scale and open-ended questions, as well as focus groups and interviews with staff and physicians, and interviews with MAiD-involved family members. There were 356 online surveys, as well as 39 participants in six focus groups with HCP, as well as fourteen interviews with MAiD-involved family members. Participants indicated that high-quality MAiD care could only be provided with enabling resources such as policies and guidelines to ensure safe, evidence-based, standardized care, as well as a specialized, trained MAiD team. Both focus group and survey data from HCPs suggest the infrastructure developed by the hospital was effective in delivering high-quality MAiD care that supports the diverse needs of various stakeholders. This study may serve as a model for evaluating the impact and quality of services when novel and ethically-contentious clinical practices are introduced to healthcare organizations.


  • Frolic, Andrea
  • Swinton, Marilyn
  • Oliphant, Allyson
  • Murray, Leslie
  • Miller, Paul

publication date

  • December 2022