Medical assistance in dying (MAiD) services will soon be available for people within a Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) clinical space adjacent to St. Paul’s Hospital.
This means patients will no longer need to transfer to another health-care facility for this specialized end-of-life care.
“MAiD is a legal end-of-life choice, and we’re ensuring it is accessible in a way that supports and respects patients, their loved ones and health-care providers,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “I have directed VCH to take space next to the hospital and establish a clinical space and care setting for VCH use. This new dedicated clinical space will be established for patients at St. Paul’s Hospital to access compassionate and dignified MAiD services.”
The clinical space will be staffed by Vancouver Coastal Health's health-care professionals and will be connected by a corridor to St. Paul’s Hospital. Patients from St. Paul's Hospital accessing MAiD will be discharged by Providence Health and transferred to the care of Vancouver Coastal Health in this new clinical space, which is expected to be completed in August 2024.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Health has directed Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health to implement a patient-centred approach for patients at St. Paul’s Hospital who wish to access MAiD. This includes arranging transport for MAiD patients if required, and overseeing care and communication with families throughout the process. The health authorities will collaborate to make the transfer process and the patient’s subsequent care as seamless and comfortable as possible.
While faith-based organizations may opt not to offer MAiD services at their facilities, they are expected to work with regional health authorities to ensure the option is available to patients who choose it.
Doctors and nurse practitioners in B.C. follow the federal legislation for MAiD and may only provide MAiD when specific eligibility criteria are met and safeguards are followed. Oversight of MAiD in B.C. is provided by the Ministry of Health’s MAiD Oversight Unit.