Should Medical Assistance in Dying Be Extended to Incompetent Patients With Dementia? Research Protocol of a Survey Among Four Groups of Stakeholders From Quebec, Canada
Medical Jurisprudence, Health Law and Policy, Advance directive; attitude; decisional incapacity; dementia; euthanasia; survey
Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders affect a growing number of people worldwide. Quality of life is generally good in the early stages of these diseases. However, many individuals fear living through the advanced stages. Such fears are triggering requests for medical assistance in dying (MAiD) by patients with dementia. Legislation was recently passed in Canada and the province of Quebec allowing MAiD at the explicit request of a patient who meets a set of eligibility criteria, including competence. Some commentators have argued that MAiD should be accessible to incompetent patients as well, provided appropriate safeguards are in place. Governments of both Quebec and Canada are currently considering whether MAiD should be accessible through written requests made in advance of loss of capacity.
Gina Bravo et al, “Should Medical Assistance in Dying Be Extended to Incompetent Patients with Dementia? Research Protocol of a Survey Among Four Groups of Stakeholders From Quebec, Canada” (2017) 13:6 JMIR 11.