Nipissing Serenity Hospice and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)


Q: Why does Nipissing Serenity Hospice not offer Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)?

Nipissing Serenity Hospice follows standards set out by the Canadian Hospital Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) and the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP).


The CHPCA and the CSPCP have issued a joint statement affirming that MAiD and palliative care “substantially differ in multiple areas, including in philosophy, intention and approach.” They further state that “National and international hospice palliative care organizations are unified in the position that MAiD is not part of the practice of hospice palliative care.”


Q: How does hospice palliative care differ from MAiD?

According the CHPCA and CSPCP joint statement, “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” and usually planned in advance of when the death would normally occur.


Q: Are religious or other reasons behind the hospice’s decision?

No. The hospice’s decision on MAiD reflects the fundamental difference between hospice palliative care and MAiD, and is in accordance with the standards set out by the CHPCA and the CSPCP and the approach taken by the vast majority of hospices in Canada.


Q: Do hospices typically provide MAiD elsewhere in Ontario

A: According to Rick Firth, CEO of Hospice Palliative Care Ontario only 6 of 48 Ontario hospices have reported performing MAiD on site. The remaining hospices have chosen to not have the procedure administered on site.


Q: Is MAiD available elsewhere in Nipissing and East Parry Sound?

Yes. There are options to access MAiD in North Bay. These include the hospital, in the community and in long term care.


Q: Wouldn’t offering MAiD be better for residents?

Hospice palliative care as provided by Nipissing Serenity Hospice is all about providing a peaceful, caring and supportive environment where quality end of life care is honoured in a compassionate and holistic manner. A relatively small number of residents choose MAiD particularly when they are able to receive quality hospice palliative care.


Q: Will Nipissing Serenity Hospice reconsider its decision on MAiD?

The hospice board is fully aware that some community members want MAiD to be offered at our facility. It is also hearing from many other community members who feel we have made the right decision. We acknowledge and respect the views on both sides of this issue. We will also continue to review the standards set out by the CHPCA and the CSPCP, receive expert opinion, and adhere to provincial legislation.



Nipissing Serenity Hospice and Hospice Care


Q: What is the Nipissing Serenity Hospice?

The Nipissing Serenity Hospice is a peaceful, caring and supportive environment where quality end of life care is honored in a compassionate and holistic manner, and without discrimination. It is a place where residents and their family members can have their spiritual, psychosocial and physical needs met to provide relief of pain and suffering.


Q: What is residential hospice care?

  • It is holistic care that does not aim to prolong life or prevent death. It aims to provide a place where individuals and their families can receive care that is comfortable, compassionate, and meets all of their end of life pain and symptom management needs. Residential hospice care is considered the gold standard in end of life care.
  • It is provided in a manner that is sensitive to the resident’s and family’s personal, cultural and religious values, beliefs and practices.


Q: Who will use the hospice?

  • Hospice services are now available to all community members.  Each resident along with their families, will have a personalized care plan, designed to meet their needs and requests.
  • Our specialized palliative care team is accessible 24 / 7 and those who are without a doctor will have one assigned.
  • Nipissing Serenity Hospice will start with in-resident services for anyone, at any age, who has been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness with a life prognosis of less than 3 months.
  • We will offer respite services to caregivers in our community.
  • Our future plans include expansion to offer in-community hospice services for those who wish to remain in their homes.


Q: What services does Nipissing Serenity Hospice provide?

The hospice provides:

  • 24-hour palliative care by an expert multi-disciplinary team that includes physicians, nurses, personal support workers, social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, palliative care volunteers, and multi-faith chaplaincy.
  • Access to grief and bereavement counselling for residents, family, and friends.
  • Respite services
  • The skill, knowledge, proficiency and capability as set out in the Standards and Norms of Practice outlined by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (2013).