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Liana Brittain: Dying With Dignity Canada was the lifeline I needed after my husband’s assisted death

For Liana Brittain, the days, weeks, and months after her husband, Paul, accessed his right to a peaceful death have been both painful and surreal. Unsure of where to go for support, she turned to Dying With Dignity Canada and ended up finding new purpose and life after loss.

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AB, plaintiff in landmark Ontario assisted dying case, dies at 77

It is with both relief and sorrow that we announce the passing of AB, the Ontario woman whose court action has helped to clarify Canada’s assisted dying law.

AB died last week, with medical assistance, after living for more than 30 years with an excruciating form of osteoarthritis. She was 77 years old.

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In Case You Missed It: July 2017

In Case You Missed It is a monthly round-up of news articles and commentaries featuring Dying With Dignity Canada speakers and stories. Did you miss these stories in July?

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Why I chose to have a medically assisted death

A Dying With Dignity Canada supporter explains in her own words why she chose medical assistance in dying and offers advice to all Canadians planning for end of life.

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Excerpt: Dr. David Amies' new book on assisted dying in Canada

As a former regular contributor to the Dying With Dignity Canada blog, and an active member of both our Physicians Advisory Council and our Lethbridge chapter, Dr. David Amies has solidified his reputation as a leading commentator on medical assistance in dying (MAID) and end-of-life issues. Now, he's sharing his expertise in a newly released book, Medical Aid in Dying Canada 2017, which takes a closer look at the history of MAID in Canada, the state and implementation of Canada's assisted dying law and its possibilities for the future.

Dr. Amies has graciously shared an excerpt from his book on our blog — read it below!

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Daughter-in-law’s letter to justice minister highlights flaws in assisted dying law

Sarah is immensely grateful that her father-in-law had the option of medical assistance in dying (MAID) available to him when he was admitted to palliative care earlier this year.

Living with terminal cancer and suffering consistent blood loss in his final days, her father-in-law had simply had enough. He made his wishes crystal clear — he wanted to end his life peacefully with the help of a doctor — and his wishes were eventually honoured.

It’s what happened in between the initial request and the provision of assistance in dying, though, that prompted Sarah to send a stern, but respectful, letter to the federal government. 

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Noreen Speaks: B.C.'s Noreen Campbell shares how she set the date for her assisted death

As Noreen Campbell’s symptoms worsened and her anxiety grew, she began thinking about setting a date for her medically assisted death.

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In Case You Missed It: June 2017

In Case You Missed It is a monthly round-up of news articles and commentaries featuring Dying With Dignity Canada speakers and stories. Did you miss these stories in June?

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Why doctors must receive fair compensation for assisted dying

It can be a touchy subject to discuss, but it’s one we must broach if we are to work toward fair access to assisted dying across Canada.

What physicians are paid to assess for and provide medical assistance in dying (MAID) is emerging as a possible barrier to access across the country. According to a new report written by The Globe and Mail’s Kelly Grant, a number of doctors in British Columbia are dropping out of providing assisted dying because the pay they receive is unsustainably low. In Nova Scotia, most of the province’s assisted dying providers have not been paid for their MAID-related work.

Inadequate compensation for MAID providers is unfair, and not just for the physicians. We at Dying With Dignity Canada (DWDC) are concerned, first and foremost, about the impact that this phenomenon will have on suffering Canadians — those who wish to access their right to a peaceful death. Unless there are enough doctors who feel comfortable participating in MAID, Canadians, especially those in rural and remote communities, will continue to face difficulties in finding providers.

Below is a backgrounder we produced in conjunction with the Canadian Association of MAID Assessors and Providers on how inadequate compensation for assisted dying affects access for Canadians. Although the details of the fee rates in this case are specific to B.C., the take-home message is applicable across the country.

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John Priddle: Will choice be available to me when I need it?

In his first blog post for Dying With Dignity Canada, John Priddle of our Victoria chapter, recalls the time he was diagnosed with a devastating neurological disease, and how this led him to get involved with the right-to-die movement. He also explains how Canada's assisted dying legislation denies people like him real choice and compassion.

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