Covenant Health

Covenant Health statement on Medical Assistance in Dying

October 23, 2018

We wish to offer our deepest apologies and condolences to the Nowicki family. What they experienced during a very difficult time in their lives was not appropriate and does not reflect our commitment to the mission and values of Covenant Health. We believe every patient deserves to be treated with compassion and respect. That did not happen in this case. 

While not reflective of our overall experience with medical assistance in dying (MAID) cases, this incident highlighted for us a need to clarify and enhance our process. This case was reviewed collaboratively by Covenant Health and Alberta Health Services and we are confident that we have taken the steps to clarify our communication and processes to prevent a similar event from occurring again.

Covenant Health is committed to providing quality palliative/hospice and end-of-life care and to offering compassionate support for persons in our care and their families. We are committed to walking with patients, residents and families at all times to understand their needs, and respect the wishes and integrity of all involved.

We are focused on ensuring our response to all patients requesting access to medical assistance in dying (MAID) is timely, compassionate and appropriate. We work to facilitate timely access to the Alberta Health Services Navigators who lead the MAID assessment process.  

We have examined and reinforced our processes, and continue to work together with the Alberta Health Services Care Coordination Service in a spirit of transparency and quality improvement, especially as our collective experience with MAID evolves.

As with every incident, we always wish to improve and do better. We encourage patients, residents, their families and our staff members to reach out to us to share their own experiences at patient.relations@covenanthealth.ca. We want to hear from you and learn from your experiences.