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The Speech-Language Pathologist’s Evolving Role in MAID: New Federal Legislation and its Impact on Speech-Language Pathology Practice
S-LP Webinar: October 20, 2021, 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm ET
Presented by:
Caitlin Buchel, RSLP, MClSc, S-LP(C)
Samantha Jansen, M.S. Ed., Reg. CASLPO

Since 2016, medical assistance in dying (MAID) has been legal in Canada. The passage of federal legislation governing MAID established the right of eligible Canadians to consent to and participate in an assisted death. However, the legal requirements around consent also created challenges for individuals with communication disorders. To address these challenges, speech-language pathologists (S-LPs) in some jurisdictions began providing communication supports to MAID practitioners during MAID assessments and provisions.

On March 17, 2021, Canada’s MAID legislation saw several amendments. These resulted in changes to the eligibility criteria for MAID, MAID’s procedural safeguards and its final consent requirements.

While the role of S-LPs in MAID is now better established, this 2021 legislative change stands to affect the way that S-LP’s work with MAID patients and practitioners in Canada. This presentation will review changes to the Canadian MAID legislation, outline practical effects of these changes on how MAID patients can now provide consent and discuss ways in which these are likely to impact S-LPs role in MAID going forward.

Oct 20, 2021 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Caitlin Buchel, RSLP, MClSc, S-LP(C)
Caitlin Buchel is the owner and managing clinician of Buchel Speech and Language Group, a private speech-language pathology practice in Manitoba. She has been a consulting speech-language pathologist (S-LP) on the provincial Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) team since shortly after its formation in April 2016. Caitlin has been involved in more than 50 MAID cases – facilitating communication between patients and the interdisciplinary MAID team, from eligibility assessments through to provision. Caitlin has presented at several venues regarding the role of S-LPs in MAID. She has also contributed to the development of recommendations to assess for MAID currently in use nationally.
Samantha Jansen, M.S. Ed., Reg. CASLPO
Samantha Jansen has been working as a speech-language pathologist for more than ten years and currently works at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) in Ontario. In her acute care career, she has participated in countless end-of-life discussions with patients and families, so diving into the world of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) felt like a natural extension of her practice. Samantha has been working with the MAiD team since its inception in June 2016 and has been their consulting S-LP in their interdisciplinary framework. Several years ago, she obtained a part-time role as the MAiD coordinator, which has allowed her the privilege of working with many more patients and caregivers in their end-of-life journey. During these five years, Samantha has participated in assessments and provisions with physicians in order to facilitate communication during these difficult conversations and has demonstrated the value of having an S-LP as part of the MAiD team.