Bereavement outcomes for family members of individuals who engaged in MAID (USA)

A study investigates bereavement outcomes following Medical Aid in Dying (MAID). Several studies found that bereaved family members or friends of individuals who chose MAID often experienced poor outcomes, including conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, complicated grief, depression, and anxiety. Protective factors for better bereavement outcomes included preparedness for death, place of death, a sense of control and autonomy, reduction in suffering, and the ability to support the patient’s end-of-life wishes. However, risk factors were also identified, such as moral concerns about MAID, ambivalence, poor end-of-life communication, social stigma, less time with the person choosing MAID, and the emotional burden of preparation for death. These factors contribute to a complex and multifaceted experience for bereaved individuals in the context of MAID.