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FAQ

Answering your frequently asked questions.

FAQ

Medical assistance in dying (MAID)

The terms “dying with dignity” and “medical assistance in dying” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. The concept of dying with dignity – and of dignity in general – is highly personal; it differs from one person to the next. A dignified death does not exclusively refer to a medically assisted death. Rather, it can include access to quality palliative care, or any other number of dignified options.  

Medical assistance in dying is the name of Canada’s assisted dying legislation. It refers to the administering of medications by a physician or nurse practitioner that – at the person’s request – causes their death; or the prescribing of medications by a physician or nurse practitioner that a person can take to cause their own death. 

Dying With Dignity Canada empowers Canadians and defends their rights so they can navigate the dying process in a way that reflects their values and wishes. Learn more about medical assistance in dying.

No. Dying With Dignity Canada can help you navigate your end-of-life options, but we are unable to determine your eligibility for MAID. We encourage you to contact your health care provider for more personal support. Read about navigating a request for medical assistance in dying in your area.

The substances used during a medical assistance in dying (MAID) provision do not harm organs. Logistically, organ donation following an assisted death would need to happen in a hospital that is able to recover organs (not all hospitals are able to do this). The death would also have to happen close to the operating room. 
 
If a person wants to donate organs after MAID, they will need to go through several tests beforehand. Each province and territory are different, but these tests could include chest x-rays and multiple blood tests. 
 
We encourage you to have a discussion with your health care team to learn more about this option. 

The process varies slightly depending on which province or territory you are located. Please visit our Navigating a request for MAID section to learn more. 

In Canada, the right to die with help from a physician or nurse practitioner is known as medical assistance in dying, or MAID. Other terms used include assisted dying or physician-assisted death. We do not use the terms assisted suicide or euthanasia because they stigmatize people who are suffering intolerably and want to access their right to a peaceful death. Suicide is a desperate act of self-harm, while medical assistance in dying is a legal, federally regulated end-of-life choice, driven by hope and autonomy. However, these terms may be used in other jurisdictions around the world. 

Dying With Dignity Canada does not encourage, support, nor provide the information or means to end a life. Our Support team provides useful, up-to-date information about assisted dying, patient rights, and end-of-life care. If you are in distress, please contact Crisis Services at 1-833-456-4566. 

According to a statement made by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, if a person follows the legislated process for medical assistance in dying, then their death will not be considered a “suicide.”  

Therefore, having an assisted death should not affect a patient’s life insurance. It is always important for people to confirm this with their life insurance carrier directly. 

The provision of medical assistance in dying (MAID) requires the use of three key medications: midazolam, propofol, and rocuronium. The first medication is used as a sedative, the second puts the individual into a deep coma, and the third stops the person’s heart. Lidocaine is also used to numb the vein before administering the propofol. Read more.

FAQ

Donations

If the number that called you was 416-900-4460, the answer is Yes. Dying With Dignity Canada has a telefundraising partner — Public Outreach — that connects with our supporters regarding the benefits of monthly giving and to answer any questions about our recent work and the impact of your support.  

Public Outreach has a small team of devoted callers based in Toronto. You might receive a call from Gabrielle H., Dorothee L., Jasmine T., Sydney M. C., Cristina M., Whitney M., Merisa D. or Bethany F. at 416 900-4460. You can feel free to call them any time between noon & 9:00 p.m. ET, Monday to Friday. If you have any further questions or feedback, contact us at 1-800-495-6156 or donations@dyingwithdignity.ca. 

Dying With Dignity Canada is a charitable organization funded almost exclusively by individual donors. In 2020 and 2021, we received limited government funding related to the COVID-19 pandemic – that was exceptional as we typically operate without government funding. 

Find more information on our reports and financials. 

We are grateful for the support and generosity you have shown to Dying With Dignity Canada and will be sorry to see you go. If you wish to cancel your monthly gift – either temporarily or permanently – simply reach out to our team at 1-800-495-6156 (press 2) or email donations@dyingwithdignity.ca.  

We would be pleased to process your donation over the phone – contact us at 1-800-495-6156 (press 2) or email us at donations@dyingwithdignity.ca and we can call you at a time that is convenient for you.   

If you donate online, you should immediately receive a confirmation email, stating that your tax-deductible receipt is in process. Receipts can take as long as three weeks. We thank you for your patience. If it has been a few weeks and you still have not received your receipt(s), please contact us.

If you make a monthly donation, you will receive a single consolidated tax receipt by the end of February for your total giving the year prior.

We appreciate your generous support and thank you again for being a part of our community and supporting end-of-life rights.

If you have further questions or feedback, contact us at 1-800-495-6156 (press 2) or email donations@dyingwithdignity.ca.

Dying With Dignity Canada is a charitable organization funded almost exclusively by individual donors. In 2020 and 2021, we received limited government funding related to the COVID-19 pandemic – that was exceptional as we typically operate without government funding. 

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters, we can provide our services — 100% free of charge — to suffering Canadians, their loved ones, and their health care providers.  

Some of the work we do includes: Defending human rights by advocating for assisted dying rules that respect the Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; providing support to adults suffering greatly from a grievous and irremediable medical condition who wish to die on their own terms; Educating Canadians about all of their legal end-of-life options, including the constitutional right to medical assistance in dying (MAID), and the importance of Advance Care Planning, and; Supporting health care practitioners who assess for and provide MAID.  

By donating to our organization, our generous supporters empower us to do all these things and more. Learn more about the impact of donations. 

Dying With Dignity Canada (DWDC) is a registered charity. Therefore, all donations made to DWDC are tax deductible and you will receive a receipt once your gift is processed. Monthly donors will receive a consolidated receipt at year end. Our charitable registration number is 11889 0086 RR0001.  

FAQ

Volunteering

Yes. To be considered a DWDC volunteer, you need to complete a volunteer application. This ensures you have read and acknowledged our volunteer policies and includes you in our insurance coverage. If there is special accommodation required to complete the application form, please contact the Manager, Volunteer Engagement and Chapter Development at volunteer@dyingwithdignity.ca.  

Those who are interested in starting a new DWDC Chapter are encouraged to speak with the Manager, Volunteer Engagement and Chapter Development to determine the needs of the local community and ensure there are a minimum of three volunteers who will form the Chapter Executive Committee. For more information, please contact the Manager, Volunteer Engagement and Chapter Development at volunteer@dyingwithdignity.ca. 

To volunteer with DWDC, you need to first complete our online Volunteer Application. Following the completion of your application, you may be required to participate in an interview and complete certain background checks (i.e., police background checks, reference checks, etc.) depending on the volunteer position you have applied for. 

The Volunteer department reviews all applications that are received. As soon as a match between an application and a volunteering opportunity is found, someone from the Volunteer department will reach out to discuss next steps with the applicant. 

We list all our volunteering opportunities on our Volunteer webpage, including opportunities with our local Chapters across the country. 

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