Universities prep doctors for medically assisted death

Amid a shortage of physicians in Alberta, Canada, willing to carry out the province’s medical assistance in dying programme, Alberta medical schools are teaching a curriculum meant to prepare future doctors to help grievously ill patients die with dignity, writes Jason Herring for the Calgary Herald.

The programme, also known as MAID, was introduced in June 2016 when the federal government passed legislation allowing eligible Canadian adults to request medical assistance in ending their lives. Through the end of 2019, a total of 952 Albertans have gone through the process, with the number of patients undergoing death through medical supervision rising each year.

At the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta, programmes start with classroom discussions about ethics and advocating for patients, with more specific exposure to MAID coming through residency placements and guest lecturers. “How do you talk to someone? How do you have a difficult conversation with a patient? Those things are critical starting points,” said Tracey Hillier, associate dean of the University of Alberta’s faculty of medicine and dentistry.
Full report on the Calgary Herald site