Impact of medical assistance in dying on family and friends


Key take-home messages
  • In jurisdictions where medical assistance in dying is legal, there are usually clear procedures to follow, and shared responsibilities between patients, family members, and healthcare providers.
  • In several studies, the family and friends of patients who requested medical assistance in dying had less traumatic grief symptoms compared to family and friends of patients who died of natural causes. However, other studies have shown a higher prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression among family members or friends witnessing medical assistance in dying.
  • Some studies found that the opportunity to discuss death freely and extensively in an open atmosphere with a loved one may make it easier to come to terms with an impending death.
  • Acknowledgement of the experiences of family members should be an essential component of all research investigating medical assistance in dying.


The Ontario HIV Treatment Network: Rapid Response Service




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
    • General HIV- population
  • Mental Health
    • Depression


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