Project

Evaluating the impact of medical aid in dying on bereaved relatives: a prospective cohort study of grief, health consequences and bereavement care

Code
3E011120
Duration
01 October 2020 → 30 September 2023
Funding
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Promotor
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Public health sciences not elsewhere classified
    • Social medical sciences not elsewhere classified
    • Palliative care and end-of-life care
Keywords
Medical aid in dying bereavement care family caregivers
 
Project description

Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD), i.e. active termination of life at a patient’s request, can confront physicians, patients and their families with substantial challenges and demands. Given its ethical contentiousness, MAiD remains a heavily debated medical and societal issue and concerns about developments in MAiD practice persist. While the impact of MAiD on the patient’s relatives is a major concern, little attention has been paid to the experiences of relatives. This proposal aims to gain a thorough understanding of grief, health consequences and bereavement care needs and provision among relatives of people with cancer who died by MAiD. To determine the impact of MAiD on bereaved relatives, I aim to study 1) grief and health consequences and 2) bereavement care needs and provision among relatives of people with cancer who died by MAiD. To achieve this goal, I will first conduct a prospective cohort study in which relatives of persons who died by MAiD (exposure group) are matched to relatives of persons who died without MAiD (control group). Secondly, I will qualitatively explore the experiences of relatives of persons who died by MAiD. This project will provide substantial insights into the impact of MAiD on bereaved relatives, how they cope, and the type and quality of care that is provided. As such, the findings of this project will dramatically advance our knowledge and understanding of the processes and consequences of MAiD practice.