Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Donelle, Lorie


Canadians are increasingly living with chronic illness heightening the importance of palliative and end of life care. Nurses have significant involvement in end of life care which, in Canada, may now include medical assistance in dying (MAiD). This qualitative study used interpretive description to explore the perspectives of nine palliative care nurses regarding best practices in care related to MAiD. The analysis produced three overarching themes of: (a) Business as usual which reflects participants’ perspective that MAiD is an aspect of existing practices in end of life decision making in palliative care; (b) Nursing role within MAiD discusses the importance of patient centred care and includes assessment, liaison, intervention and bereavement; and (c) Support for Nurses to Provide MAiD Care reflecting the support required for nurses providing this care and includes (a) palliative education required, (b) conscientious objection to MAiD, and (c) give and take of the final intervention. The concept patient directed death is introduced in response to these findings, and aligns MAiD within existing patient centred end of life care. The findings from this study can inform nursing best practices related to MAiD in order to support quality end of life care.

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