Blog

Dr. David Amies: Why do we need 'independent witnesses' for assisted dying?

Using his personal experiences as a volunteer in DWDC's independent-witness program as a jumping-off point, Dr. David Amies questions the value of requiring patients to get their assisted dying requests signed by two people who aren't involved in their care. Though well-intentioned, this rule in federal assisted dying law, he argues, is unnecessary and it imposes a harmful burden upon suffering Canadians who are trying to exercise their right to choice.

Read more

Dying With Dignity Canada announces largest gift in the organization’s 38-year history

Dying With Dignity Canada is set to receive the largest donation in the organization’s 38-year history, signalling the dawning of a new era for the movement to defend Canadians’ end-of-life rights.

The gift comes in the form of a bequest from the late David Jackson, a retired Vancouver entrepreneur and ardent supporter of Canadians’ right to a peaceful death. DWDC CEO Shanaaz Gokool called the legacy donation, which is valued at approximately $7 million, “nothing short of transformational.”

Read more

My wife wanted her choice of a peaceful death to be shared. This is our story.

Winnipeg’s Jean Ayre believed passionately in a more loving and caring world, and throughout her 86 years of life, she did everything in her power to make that belief a reality. It’s no surprise, then, that on her final day — the day she said “yes” to a medically assisted death — Jean was surrounded by unconditional love and care in the form of her husband, their family, and 15 of their closest friends.

In this special blog post, Jean's husband, Don, shares the powerful story of their love, while recounting their final months together and the peace Jean felt when she made her final choice.

Read more

In Case You Missed It: May 2018

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 May?

Read more

Aging with dementia, through a granddaughter’s eyes

Dying With Dignity Canada board member Leigh Naturkach describes how a visit to her 92-year-old Opa led her to reflect on her relationships and her wishes for care at end of life.

Read more

Court challenge against Ontario assisted dying policy goes to appeal

The top court in Ontario has agreed to hear an appeal into a legal challenge against a regulation that protects patient access to assisted dying in the province. 

In January, the Superior Court of Justice decided that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s (CPSO) policy on effective referral for assisted dying is constitutional and protects patients who request medical assistance in dying from being abandoned by clinicians who oppose it. The policy requires Ontario doctors who oppose assisted dying to refer patients who request it to a non-opposing provider or agency in a timely manner.

Read more

Adam's story: ‘The toughest of all places’

In August 2017, B.C.’s Adam Ross fulfilled his choice to die with dignity — the last option left to free him from a prolonged, untreatable pain condition. He died alone, without anyone’s assistance, taking care to minimize the burden on the people he loved. His story reveals how much work still needs to be done to ensure that Canadians have fair alternatives in the face of unbearable suffering.

Read more

'I tried my hardest to save my life': B.C. man's departing letter to loved ones

In August 2017, British Columbia’s Adam Ross fulfilled his choice to die with dignity — the last option left to free him from a prolonged, untreatable pain condition. He died alone, without anyone’s assistance, taking care to minimize the burden on the people he loved. His story reveals how much work still needs to be done to ensure that Canadians have fair alternatives in the face of unbearable suffering.

This is Adam's deeply moving and articulate departing letter to his loved ones.

Read more

An Old Story About This New Place

Canadian poet Richard Harrison’s mother chose a medically-assisted death on July 5, 2017. His essay on his experience with her that day, “It is to that Bedside that I go,” was published on CBC’s Ideas and the Dying With Dignity Canada blog. In this piece, Richard begins the search for the meaning of that experience in a connection between it and a familiar story from the past.

Read more

Jana Buhlmann: Why I'm speaking out about hospice care and assisted dying

In this post for the Dying With Dignity Canada blog, Jana Buhlmann, who supported her husband on his assisted dying journey last year, writes a thoughtful reflection on hospices that refuse to offer medical assistance in dying (MAID). She also contemplates how she and others might use their voices to effect change.

Read more