Covenant Health

Medical Assistance In Dying response

November 02, 2018

As Covenant Health, we are committed to quality, compassionate care, and we always strive to make improvements and respond to concerns from those we serve.

In the past two weeks, there have been media reports of patients who requested Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) in the initial months of implementation of MAID. Since the beginning--as well as the past few weeks--we have identified opportunities for us to clarify and reinforce existing policies and procedures related to MAID. We are currently undertaking a review of the language in our policy related to the use of the term “exceptional” in identifying patients who may require onsite MAID assessments. The interpretation of that word may not have been what was intended in some cases and we are reviewing to ensure improved clarity going forward.

We are committed to performing assessments on Covenant Health property in exceptional circumstances, responding with compassion and respect. Since April, 2018, all of the patients who requested MAID at a Covenant Health site and ultimately chose to complete the procedure had their assessments and signed their records of request onsite. 

Throughout, we have worked with our committed and compassionate leaders to ensure a consistent response. In the past week, we have communicated with our leaders to clarify the policy and are meeting with senior operational leaders next week to discuss ways to continuously improve our clarity and response. We also recognize that these events are very difficult for all involved, and work to make sure our teams are able to access the supports and services they need.

We are also monitoring to ensure we are continually improving. We are working with AHS to enhance our tracking form, and to ensure we are gathering the most accurate information possible. As of December 31, Covenant Health will submit quarterly reports to AHS (including numbers of MAID cases, applications and assessments). This data will be validated to AHS before it is submitted to Health Canada, as part of the new mandatory reporting rules.