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How to Access MAID at UHN

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Th​e process for receiving MAID includes a few steps. It can take about two weeks from your formal written request to receive MAID.​​​​

Speak with your health care team

At UHN, you can speak to any member of your health care team to learn more about MAID. This person might be someone who you are comfortable with and trust. It may be a nurse, doctor, social worker, spiritual care provider or other member of the team. To be referred to MAID, you will need to speak to your doctor.

Tell your doctor that you want to receive MAID. Your doctor will:

  • Talk to you about why you would want MAID and give you information about the procedure. This will help you decide if you want to make a formal request for MAID.
  • Talk to you about your medical condition. This includes your chance of recovery and the options available to you to help relieve your suffering.
  • Explain the criteria for MAID and the process for receiving it at UHN.

If you decide to pursue MAID at UHN, your doctor will refer you for a MAID assessment.

Please note that if you do not feel at ease talking to members of your health care team about MAID, you can request a confidential consultation (private meeting) with a member of the Bioethics team. This can be done by calling the Director of Bioethics at 416 340 4800 x 8607. A bioethicist is someone who supports patients and family members dealing with ethical issues in a patient’s care.

Be assessed by two doctors or nurse practitioners
  • You will have separate assessments with two doctors or nurse practitioners. Each assessment will last about 1 hour. The assessments may be on the same day if both assessors are available.
  • The doctors or nurse practitioners will speak with you to assess if you are capable of making health care decisions and giving informed consent. They will make sure that the decision to receive MAID is your own and that you are not under any pressure from others.
  • The doctors or nurse practitioners will also review your medical records. They will see if you have a serious and incurable illness that will result in your reasonably foreseeable death (death will occur in the near future).
  • Following the assessments, your assessors will let you know about the decision. This includes next steps.

​​Your health care team will continue to optimize supportive, palliative and general medical care. You may be referred for specialized physical and emotional support, if needed.​

Complete a formal written request

If you are eligible for MAID, you will need to complete the Patient MAID Request Form. You will need to sign this form in front of two separate witnesses. This is the law. Your witnesses must sign the form the same day you do. Your two witnesses must meet the following criteria:

  • They must be over the age of 18
  • They will not benefit from your estate
  • They do not own the health care facility you are in
  • They do not provide direct personal care or health care to you

Witnesses usually cannot be family members or any UHN staff person.

​Wait through a reflection period
  • This reflection period is time for you to think about your decision carefully and to be sure it is right for you.
  • The reflection period starts from the day you submit your written request for MAID. It is 10 clear days, as required by law.
    • For example, Ms. X signs the written request on January 1. The reflection period starts on January 2. The earliest time for Ms. X to receive MAID would be on January 12.
  • In some cases, the assessment doctors may shorten or lengthen the reflection period. This depends on your health condition and if you may no longer be able to provide informed consent.
​Schedule MAID

You need to schedule MAID at least 3 to 5 working days before you want to receive MAID. If you are an inpatient, you must speak with your health care team. If you are an outpatient, you will be given contact information for the MAID coordinator.​

The MAID coordinator will arrange for you to meet the doctor who will perform the MAID procedure. The coordinator will also talk to you about:

  • The time of your procedure
  • The location of your procedure
  • Any special requests you may have about the setting for MAID.

You must be mentally capable of giving informed consent at the time you receive MAID.

Patients who want to receive MAID may be able to donate their organs and/or tissues. As with all imminent deaths, all patients will be referred to the Trillium Gift of Life Network to discuss the options of organ and tissue donation.​

Remember: You have the right to change your mind at any time.

Support for families

​​After a patient has received MAID, the MAID team or the patient’s health care providers will continue to offer emotional and practical support to family members, as needed. Speak to a member of the patient’s health care team, and visit our Helpful Resources page, for more information.​


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