The issue of ‘medical assistance in dying’ was up for discussion in North Bay on Wednesday.

A local doctor who performs the procedure says it's an option that several dozen people in the Nipissing area have chosen.

Doctor Paul Preston of North Bay Regional Health Centre spoke to members of a local group of retired and semi-retired professionals.

He says since the law changed in 2016, between 60 and 70 people in North Bay have chosen the procedure as their way to pass. And he says it's often a time were families are reunited, and are comfortable.

"The MAID deaths I’ve been involved with have been the most beautiful deaths I’ve seen. The people often have special days with the family proceedings." said Preston.

The application process begins with talking to a nurse or doctor about the procedure.

From there, you have to be approved based on certain criteria that include: age, medical insurance, and patients must be in an advance state of decline.

"Writing the chapter of their lives the way they want to write it and having a good ending, because in life the ending counts like it does for every story." said Preston.

The doctor says there are still many misconceptions surrounding medical assistance in dying, but he says health care professionals have to mention it as an option.

People who attended the presentation seem to agree.

"I think it's an important option for people to have. Whether they use it or not, is obviously not for you and I to decide for other people, but yeah it's an important tool." said John Roberts, presentation attendee.

Dick Tafel also attended the presentation.

"It does seem as though it's becoming more accepted, and you could see from the questions that most people seem to feel the idea has merit." said Tafel.

Preston says the process is becoming more popular in Ontario because it allows people to take control of their own death, and  to be surrounded by family and friends in a comfortable and peaceful setting.