Caitlin Robertson (a,b) and Dr. Emily Read (a)
(a) University of New Brunswick
(b) Canadian Frailty Network
With the addition of medical assistance in dying (MAiD) to Canadian law in 2016 came many challenges to patients and providers. Since physicians and nurse practitioners are the professions able to provide MAiD, it is imperative to understand their perspectives. In New Brunswick, only physicians are currently providing MAiD within the two regional health authorities. Semi-structured one-on-one interviews with New Brunswick physicians were conducted. A Straussian Grounded Theory approach to data collection and analysis was taken to understand the social structures in place shaping their opinions on this topic. A snowball sampling approach was used to recruit participants, as well as a call for participants through the New Brunswick Medical Society’s eBulletin. We attempted to collect data until a sufficiency of information was observed, but this was only possible in the group that agreed with MAiD (n=12). Sufficiency was not found in the group that did not agree with MAiD (n=3) as the sample was too small. Data collection is complete, and analysis is currently underway. The preliminary results point to patient suffering, patient autonomy, physician’s religion, and the Hippocratic oath as being important to New Brunswick physicians. Additionally, there were many instances of conscientious objection and the need for more education on the topic discussed. This research will provide a rich understanding of what is shaping the views of New Brunswick physicians toward this important topic. Understanding these perspectives is important in shaping further policies and regulations that affect access to MAiD in our province.