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Beyond The Balance Sheet Podcast

Nov 16, 2022

When a patient finds out they are terminally ill, with less than six months to live, they may choose Medical Aid in Dying in certain states. Today, Dr. Robin Plumer talks to us about what Medical Aid in Dying is and how patients decide to pursue it. Dr. Robin Plumer says her job is like “a midwife to dying.” She discusses the circumstances where it is performed and the loving environment it can create. Tune in today to learn more about how Medical Aid in Dying works and what states allow this course of action.




  • [1:51] How did Dr. Robin Plumer’s experience in New Zealand impact her work today?
  • [3:37] What is Medical Aid in Dying?
  • [4:40] How is Medical Aid in Dying different from suicide?
  • [8:50] What is the partnership between Hospice and the Medical Aid in Dying doctor?
  • [12:19] What is the personality type of people who choose Medical Aid in Dying? 
  • [15:56] What is Dr. Robin Plumer’s role in Medical Aid in Dying? 
  • [18:11] Is MAID  supported in the United States?
  • [19:51] Does insurance cover  this? 
  • [20:47] Can Medical Aid in Dying be done for those with dementia? 
  • [22:56] How does Hospice approach the subject of Medical Aid in Dying with patients? 




  • For Medical Aid in Dying, the patient must self-administer the medicine. A doctor can go to the patient's home and mix the medication, but the patient has to drink it or use a syringe to administer it. 
  • Medical Aid in Dying allows people to say goodbye to the people they love in their homes, listen to their favorite music, and pass peacefully. 
  • It is a loving and intense environment. It’s a natural way of dying and is not highly-medicalized. 




Beyond the Balance Sheet Website


Compassionate Endings N.J. Website



Dr. Robin Plumer has practiced emergency medicine for over 30 years. In 2008, she went to New Zealand to live and work. She continued to work in emergency medicine, but also followed her interest in end-of-life care while working in several hospices and completing a postgraduate diploma in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at the University of Auckland. In 2017, she returned to the US to help care for her father, who had Parkinson’s disease. She worked in both inpatient and community hospices in New Jersey for three years and became interested in the passage of NJ’s medical aid in dying (MAID) law. Realizing that few clinicians were participating in the law, she decided to pursue intensive study in the field and collaborated with experienced MAID clinicians in California, Washington State, and Oregon. In July 2020, she started a practice called “Compassionate Endings NJ” with a former nurse colleague who shares her passion for very personalized and comprehensive patient care. Since starting their practice, they have attended many MAID deaths, and have become proficient in managing special situations. Part of their mission is to encourage those in the medical community who wish to become involved in MAID by mentoring and teaching.