Medical Assistance in Dying

Topic Overview

Medical assistance in dying refers to a service where an authorized health professional provides assistance for a person to voluntarily end his or her own life. This is done by prescribing lethal doses of medicine. Medical assistance in dying is only available to individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements.

In Canada, there are two types of medical assistance in dying. An authorized health professional:

    • Directly gives a substance that causes death, such as an injection of a drug. This is known as clinician-assisted medical assistance in dying. It was previously known as voluntary euthanasia.
    • Gives or prescribes a drug that the person self-administers to cause death. This is known as self-administered medical assistance in dying. It was previously known as medically assisted suicide.

The types of assistance available and rules for eligibility vary by province and territory. For more information, go to the Government of Canada's End-of-Life Care webpage at

Contact your health care professional if you have questions about medical assistance in dying. 

Related Information


Adaptation Date: 9/23/2021

Adapted By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Reviewed By: HealthLink BC

Is it an emergency?

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