Meg Westley holds a PhD from the University of Toronto. She teaches Communications at the University of Waterloo and the Stratford Chefs School and has worked as a facilitator and trainer for a variety of organizations. From 2000-2010, she served as trustee on the Avon Maitland District School Board, acting as chair for five of those years. During that period, she wrote a monthly column in the Stratford Beacon Herald titled “Educationally Speaking.” Her published work includes scholarly articles, plays for children and a fantasy novel, Goddess Fire. She authors a blog on freedom of choice at www.megwestley.wordpress.com.
I have long believed people should have the right to assistance in ending their lives if they are experiencing intractable and intolerable suffering with no hope of recovery. I watched my mother endure a prolonged, painful death from terminal cancer and resolved then to do my best to ensure this never happened to anyone else.
Dying With Dignity Canada has a critical role, not just in the ongoing debate about assisted dying in this country, but in educating people about their end-of-life rights and options. Our Client Support Program is unique: it provides both information about legal reliable means of hastening death and emotional support to members who choose to self-determine their dying. My most ardent hope is that Canada will legalize assisted dying. Until then, DWD’s Client Support program provides our members with the comfort and relief of knowing there are alternatives to prolonged suffering.