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3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EDT

The Speech-Language Pathologist (S-LP) Role in Medical Assistance in Dying

The language used in the description reflects the language of the session.

In June 2016, Canada legalized medical assistance in dying (MAID) as a right and set legal requirements around patient consent and participation. In March 2021 there were amendments to the law and safeguards put into place which allowed access to an assisted death for a broader client population. For patients with communication disorders who lack communication support, access to this right and the ability to fully consent can be limited. At the same time, despite the role of Speech-Language Pathologists (S-LPs) in providing communication supports at end-of-life, there continues to be almost no research or practice guidance around S-LP participation in MAID and limited awareness of the benefits of S-LP contributions to MAID.

Learning objectives:

  • Address the unique role of S-LPs in the MAID process by combining clinical insight from S-LP participation on interdisciplinary MAID teams since 2016 with S-LP best practices on capacity to consent in end-of-life conversations.
  • Address gaps in client care by outlining the S-LP role in MAID, sharing clinical experiences, case studies and practical resources in order for S-LPs to feel more prepared to support a client’s communication during the MAID process.


Intended Audience

Speech-Language Pathologists, Students

Age Group(s)

Adult (18-64), Senior (65+)