Table 2:

Characteristics of decedents who received medical assistance in dying

CharacteristicNo. (%) of decedents
n = 2241
Type of suffering identified on assessment
 Physical2230 (99.5)
 Psychologic2161 (96.4)
Prognostic estimate
 Not recorded1254 (56.0)
 < 1 month392 (17.5)
 1–6 months491 (21.9)
 > 6 months104 (4.6)
Preferred language*
 English or French1482 (90.9)
 Other50 (3.1)
 Unknown98 (6)
Communication difficulties (e.g., soft voice, dysarthria)*156 (9.6)
Profession of MAiD provider
 Physician2116 (94.4)
 Nurse practitioner125 (5.6)
Specialty of MAiD provider
 General practice (with no other specialty indicated)1104 (49.3)
 Palliative care (including nurse practitioners)287 (12.8)
 Anesthesiology285 (12.7)
 Internal medicine and subspecialties180 (8.0)
 Nurse practitioner (without further specialization)116 (5.2)
 Medical or radiation oncology74 (3.3)
 Emergency medicine66 (2.9)
 Intensive care62 (2.8)
 Surgical specialties/subspecialties42 (1.9)
 Other25 (1.1)
At the time of request, the patient was receiving palliative care from a physician or nurse practitioner1667 (74.4)
Patient followed or assessed by palliative care at any point1731 (77.2)
Psychiatrist involvement in assessment of MAiD eligibility140 (6.2)
Patient previously known to MAiD provider/assessor814 (36.3)
Previous request for MAiD denied
 No2014 (89.9)
 Yes97 (4.3)
 Unknown130 (5.8)
10-day reflection period shortened596 (26.6)
Family or care team reported difficulties accessing MAiD148 (6.6)
  • Note: MAiD = medical assistance in dying.

  • * For the MAiD cohort, the initial 611 patients were removed from the analysis of this variable because these data were not recorded.

  • In Canada, these fields have all been recognized as specialties or subspecialties by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, but not all providers in these fields have completed an accredited specialty training program. Many providers in these fields have completed nonaccredited training, or have developed a focused practice based on many years of clinical experience.