Criteria to Receive Medical Aid in Dying

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In Quebec, an adult patient insured by the RAMQ can request medical aid in dying (MAID). Here’s an overview of the criteria to receive MAID. 

Criteria Based on the Patient’s Health 

To receive medical aid in dying, a patient must have a serious and incurable illness. The patient’s medical situation has severely deteriorated, and there’s no possibility of improvement. The patient constantly experiences intolerable suffering. This suffering can be physical or psychological. The patient has been informed of other therapeutic ways to relieve suffering, but they consider these alternatives intolerable. 

Valid Consent 

The patient must be able to make their own decisions about health care treatments. They must be able to give free and informed consent to medical aid in dying, without external pressure, at the time of the request.   

Impossible to Request in Advance 

These conditions apply to all patients who want to receive medical aid in dying, regardless of whether their natural death is foreseeable. Therefore, it is not possible to make a request for medical aid in dying before being diagnosed with an incurable illness, nor to request it in advance medical directives. However, for patients whose natural death is foreseeable, they can give their final consent before losing their ability to consent.  

In Memory of Guy Mercier 

Guy Mercier, a notary and one of Éducaloi’s board members, died on November 12th after requesting medical aid in dying. Through his ideas and people skills, he contributed to Éducaloi for more than nine years.

A storyteller known as an exceptionally good listener, he made an impression with the tremendous trust he conveyed to Éducaloi at a time when many thought the project was utopian. 

Through this short article, we would like to honour his memory and highlight his contribution to the mission of legal information. We share our condolences with his family.