The impact of coronavirus disease 2019 on medical assistance in dying

Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2022 Sep 1;16(3):125-129. doi: 10.1097/SPC.0000000000000607. Epub 2022 Jul 18.

Abstract

Purpose of review: The COVID-19 pandemic and measures to contain its impact are drastically altering end-of-life and grief experiences around the world, including the practice and experience of medical assistance in dying (MAiD).

Recent findings: Recent published literature on the impact of COVID-19 on MAiD can be described under the following categories: studies investigating the impact of COVID-19 on MAiD from the healthcare providers' perspective; studies investigating the impact of COVID-19 on MAiD from the patient/family perspective; and opinion papers that review the impact of COVID-19 on MAiD from a legal-ethical perspective. Most of these studies were either conducted in Canada or included mostly Canadian participants.

Summary: Recent published research on the impact of COVID-19 on MAiD highlights the tensions between COVID-19 restrictions and individual control over the circumstances of dying, and the resulting impact on patient and family suffering and on moral injury for their MAiD providers. These reports may help inform risk mitigation strategies for the current pandemic and future similar public health crises that acknowledge the value of humane, family-centered care at the end of life.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Medical Assistance
  • Pandemics
  • Suicide, Assisted*