To foster quality psychosocial-oncology (PSO) and supportive care to meet the diverse needs of cancer populations across the cancer journey through the development, dissemination, and uptake of standards and evidence-based guidelines in PSO and supportive care. [Terms of Reference - word]

CAPO’s Position Statement – Role of Psychosocial Oncology in Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID)

Under the direction of the CAPO Clinical Advisory Committee a working group of CAPO members has developing a position paper on MAID. This position statement is intended to clarify the role of psychosocial oncology services and psychosocial oncology clinicians in responding to patient inquiries about MAID. This paper can be accessed at:

CAPO MAID Position Statement PDF

We thank Drs Doris Howell, Keith Wilson, Madeline Li, Harvey Chochinov, Eric Wasylenko, Jennifer Bell, Jacynthe Rivest and Chad Hammond for their work on this position statement.

CAPO is looking for in-kind support to translate this position statement into French. If members are aware of local resources available for in-kind translation services, please contact [email protected]


Dr. Carole Mayer
Social Work
Clinical and Social Affiliate Scientist-Health Sciences North Research Institute & Adjunct Associate Professor, Division of Psychosocial Oncology
Department of Oncology Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Carole Mayer is the Clinical Lead and Manager of the Supportive Care Program & Supportive Care Oncology Research Unit (SCORU).

The SCORU was created in the fall of 1999 with a mission to conduct high quality, ethical, supportive care research in oncology.

The research conducted in this unit serves as a means to better understand the experiences of cancer patients across their cancer journey with a special focus on rural health; developing and testing of psychosocial and psycho-educational interventions; evaluative studies to determine the most effective and efficient use of health care resources and the use of technology in oncology care. The findings from these studies helps the supportive care team learn more about the social, physical, psychological and spiritual needs of cancer patients and families to improve the delivery of services.

Carole is a Principal Investigator currently working with a team on a two-year project at 14 Community Oncology Clinic Network sites. The focus of this study, funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer-Cancer Journey Action Group, is to screen for and assess the supportive care/psychosocial needs of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy closer to home and increase access to services.

Carole was part of a team that won the 2009 Innovation Award from the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario recognizing the work done in telemedicine within the Northeast Cancer Center. She led two of the studies that were conducted.

Carole brings 25 years of experience working with patients and families affected by a cancer diagnosis. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in the School of Social Work at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She holds a faculty appointment in the Division of Clinical Sciences at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and is a member of the Board of Director of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology. She has presented her work at Provincial, National and International forums.


Marianne Arab
Social Work
Nova Scotia Health Authority

Marianne currently works at Cancer Care Nova Scotia, the provincial cancer agency in Halifax, Nova Scotia as the Manager of Supportive Care and Psychosocial Oncology.  Her career experience includes working as an inpatient clinical social work in the areas of Family Medicine, Oncology and Palliative Care.  She established the Grief and Bereavement Program for the Capital Health Palliative Care Program, and was the Bereavement Coordinator for the Program for four years. She was also involved in the development and training of bereavement volunteers throughout the province.

Marianne has been a strong advocate and champion for persons with cancer and hospice palliative care in her province, serving on the Nova Scotia Hospice Palliative Care Association Board for many years and co-chairing numerous initiatives to improve oncology and palliative care services.  She is co-lead of a federally funded initiative training paramedics to provide palliative care at home for patients in crises requiring palliative support who do not wish to be transported to their local emergency department. As well she has been instrumental in the adoption of screening for and management of distress in oncology clinics across Nova Scotia.  She has been an on-line facilitator for the IPODE continuing education course since 2009 and was a field placement supervisor and seminar facilitator for MSW and BSW on campus and distance education social work students at the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University.

Marianne has played a key role in the development of the Palliative Care Strategy in Nova Scotia and continues to act as a consultant to various working groups involved in moving the Strategy forward and improving access and quality of palliative care for all Nova Scotians.

Marianne has her Bachelor of Social Work from McGill University and her Masters in Social Work from Dalhousie University.

The Canadian Association of
Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO)

189 Queen Street East, Suite 1
Toronto, ON M5A 1S2
P. 416-968-0207
F. 416-968-6818
[email protected]

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