February 20, 2024

Doctors of death

In countries where “assisted dying” in some form or other is legal, doctors are forming professional organisations to give guidance about how to help people die.

In Canada, there is the Canadian Association of MAiD Assessors and Providers, or CAMAP, “a voluntary professional association primarily composed of physicians and nurse practitioners who provide MAiD and assess requesters”. It provides training, mentorship, and peer supervision. It has created clinical practice guidelines.

As well, CAMAP members appear in the media to explain procedures and soothe ruffled feathers. It conveys an image of professional competence and scientific seriousness.

A similar organisation has been formed in Australia, VADANZ  or Voluntary Assisted Dying Australia and New Zealand. It describes itself as “the peak body representing multidisciplinary health care professionals providing voluntary assisted dying services in Australia and New Zealand.” It provides “excellence in voluntary assisted dying care”.

It will also lobby for liberalisation of “assisted dying” legislation. It is already urging its members and other healthcare professionals to change federal law to permit teleconsultations about assisted dying.