Medical Assistance in Dying at a paediatric hospital

Title

Medical Assistance in Dying at a paediatric hospital

Creator

DeMichelis C; Zlotnik SR; Rapoport A

Publisher

Journal of Medical Ethics

Date

2018

Description

This article explores the ethical challenges of providing Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) in a paediatric setting. More specifically, we focus on the theoretical questions that came to light when we were asked to develop a policy for responding to MAID requests at our tertiary paediatric institution. We illuminate a central point of conceptual confusion about the nature of MAID that emerges at the level of practice, and explore the various entailments for clinicians and patients that would flow from different understandings. Finally, we consider the ethical challenges of building policy on what is still an extremely controversial social practice. While MAID is currently available to capable patients in Canada who are 18 years or older—a small but important subsection of the population our hospital serves—we write our policy with an eye to the near future when capable young people may gain access to MAID. We propose that an opportunity exists for MAID-providing institutions to reduce social stigma surrounding this practice, but not without potentially serious consequences for practitioners and institutions themselves. Thus, this paper is intended as a road map through the still-emerging legal and ethical landscape of paediatric MAID. We offer a view of the roads taken and considered along the way, and our justifications for travelling the paths we chose. By providing a record of our in-progress thinking, we hope to stimulate wider discussion about the issues and questions encountered in this work.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here.

Citation List Month

October 2018 List

Collection

Citation

DeMichelis C; Zlotnik SR; Rapoport A, “Medical Assistance in Dying at a paediatric hospital,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed September 25, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/15576.

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