Jason Meidl is the funeral director at Creston Valley Funeral Services.

Jason Meidl is the funeral director at Creston Valley Funeral Services.

Ask Your Funeral Director: What is Medical Assistance in Dying?

In June 2016, Medical Assistance in Dying was legalized in Canada

By Jason Meidl, Funeral Director at Creston Valley Funeral Services

jason@crestonvalleyfuneralservices.ca

We live in a world of extreme opposites and B.C. is no different. As I look out my office window to see the valley completely covered by excess amounts of snow, I can’t help but to reflect on how in the past two years we have gone through extreme fire seasons, catastrophic flooding, a worldwide pandemic, and now more snow than we have seen in awhile. One thing is constant through it all and it’s our resiliency as a community to push forward and see the good in the world that we live in. As we move forward into 2022, I want to share something my wife shared on one of her many uplifting Instagram posts (@runnergurl55) – “As we enter 2022, I have decided to adopt an attitude of realism. I’ve always entered the new year thinking, ‘This year has got to be better than the last,’ but that attitude has not proven helpful nor realistic. Instead, I choose to embrace what is and focus on being the best version of myself I can for my family, my workplace, and myself. I wish you all a Happy New Year.”

“What is Medical Assistance in Dying and how does it work?” – Howard

Since 2016, it has been legal in Canada for an eligible person suffering intolerably from a grievous and irremediable medical condition to access Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID). MAID permits a doctor or nurse practitioner to assist an eligible patient in voluntarily ending their life. Eligibility for MAID is based on the following criteria:

• Be at least 18 years of age

• Be eligible for publicly funded health services in Canada

• Have a grievous and irremediable medical condition (In other words, a serious illness, disease, or disability in an advanced state of decline with intolerable suffering.)

• Voluntarily request MAiD without coercion or influence

• Must have the mental capability to provide informed consent to receive MAiD, including at the time of taking the drug, as determined by one or more of the health care providers involved

It is not uncommon for a family to reach out to a funeral home to start the arranging process when a loved one has made the choice to pursue MAiD. On numerous occasions, I have had the privilege to sit down with families and the person who has chosen MAiD to go over funeral arrangements ahead of time. As a funeral director, this is a unique experience as I get to meet the person who I will be taking care of after death, which is not something that we get to do often. Often these meetings are just a conversation as I get to know the person and their wishes. A big part, if not one of the most important focuses, of my job is building relationships with my families. At times like this, it is no different.

Interesting Fact

When we think of an obituary, we often think of sending flowers or donating to a charity in someone’s memory. In 2018, a woman passed away after a prolonged illness. This woman was known as a loving and caring teacher and when she passed away her final request was that in lieu of flowers, people donate backpacks full of school supplies for underprivileged kids. The chapel as her service was full of backpacks. Such a unique and meaningful way to remember someone.

Keep the questions coming to jason@crestonvalleyfuneralservices.ca!

READ MORE: Ask Your Funeral Director: Why do people wear black for funerals?

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