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Physicians gather to collaborate on Palliative Care and MAiD

More than 30 physicians gathered in Nanaimo and Victoria last December to improve medical assistance in dying (MAiD) in Island Health. The specialists and general practitioners met to learn more about each other’s role in MAiD, build relationships and identify gaps in palliative and end-of-life care. Importantly, the physicians also worked to identify solutions and innovations to improve care.

MAiD is only three years old in Canada and as with any new process, there are opportunities to improve and collaborate as it evolves. Led by Island Health medical executive director Dr. David Robertson, medical director Dr. Leah MacDonald, and clinical nurse specialist Rosanne Beuthin, and supported by medical ethicist Dr. Jeff Kerrie, physicians at these events were provided the opportunity to speak openly and share ideas on all topics related to palliative care and MAiD. Their feedback will directly influence ideas for program development and integration in the future. 

Participating physicians were surprised by the common ground they shared with their colleagues and appreciated the “level of gratitude and kindness in the room.” They also appreciated the open format and respectful conversation.

These palliative care and MAiD events were made possible by the Health System Redesign Initiative (co-funded by the Specialist Services Committee, Shared Care Committee, and the General Practice Services Committee, together the Joint Collaborative Committees of Doctors of BC).

The Island Health team of Rosanne Beuthin, Dr. David Robertson, Dr. Leah MacDonald and Jill Gerke was also integral to the success.

Since the December events, Rosanne and Dr. Kerrie have been invited to present at the upcoming BC Patient and Safety Quality Council Quality Forum next month in Vancouver.