Nipissing Serenity Hospice (NSH) supports the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) and the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP) joint statement in their clarification of the relationship of hospice palliative care and MAiD. It is clear in its understanding that these two practices are fundamentally different and where MAiD is not part of hospice palliative care. It is not an “extension” of palliative care[i] nor is it one of the tools “in the palliative care basket”.[ii] National and international hospice palliative care organizations are unified in the position that MAiD is not part of the practice of hospice palliative care.[iii][iv][v][vi][vii][viii][ix][x] Hospice palliative care and MAiD substantially differ in multiple areas including in philosophy, intention and approach.[xi] Hospice palliative care focuses on improving quality of life and symptom management through holistic person-centered care for those living with life threatening conditions. Hospice palliative care sees dying as a normal part of life and helps people to live and die well. Hospice palliative care does not seek to hasten death or intentionally end life. In MAiD, however, the intention is to address suffering by ending life through the administration of a lethal dose of drugs at an eligible person’s request.
Nipissing Serenity Hospice recognizes that everyone holds their own values, beliefs and meaning behind their experience of living with a life limiting illness. Nipissing Serenity Hospice believes that patients have the right to quality palliative care and the right to choose where they wish to receive care at the end of life. While Nipissing Serenity Hospice will respect and support each of our patients and loved ones’ in their choices as they journey their final days, prior to admission they will be advised that MAiD will not be administered in the hospice. Should any patient wish to consider MAiD, NSH will continue to support all patient requests and provide referral as is required.
Passed by the Board of Directors
*Nipissing Serenity Hospice understands that this topic is very sensitive and personal to many of our community members. The feedback received will be used as direct, internal communications between the community and the Board of Directors. We will not be publishing comments and names.
[v]Radbruch, Lukas, et al. “Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: A White Paper from the European Association for Palliative Care.” Palliative Medicine, vol. 30, no. 2, 2015, pp. 104–116., doi:10.1177/0269216315616524.