Blog

Dr. David Amies: We need to think creatively to address the issue of forced transfers for assisted dying

In January, the news cycle was dominated by stories of individuals being forced to undergo grueling and often painful transfers to access their right to assisted dying because their hospital, hospice or long-term care home refused to allow it on-site. In this blog post, Dr. David Amies explains why creative thinking might be the pathway forward on the issue of forced transfers for assisted dying — and why the status quo just won't do.

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Ruling in Ontario assisted dying case ‘a victory for patients’ rights,’ Dying With Dignity Canada says

Dying With Dignity Canada is celebrating an Ontario court decision to uphold provincial regulation that requires doctors who oppose assisted dying to connect patients who request it with a non-objecting provider or agency.

The ruling comes in response to a court challenge against the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s (CPSO) policy on effective referral for assisted dying. The applicants, led by the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada, claimed that the effective referral policy infringes upon the Charter rights of doctors who oppose medical assistance in dying (MAID).

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Priscilla’s last lesson: ‘No one has the right to stop us from dying’

Priscilla Cole had one last lesson to teach before she died.

A lifelong educator, she had devoted her career to instilling others with knowledge and the confidence to put it to good use. Among her pupils were the youngsters she taught at a private girls’ school in Toronto, the students she counselled at Seneca College, and the two sons she raised as a widowed mother, who are now doctors with grown children of their own.

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Paul's story: My wife's medically assisted death allowed her to "go home"

Kathleen Farago wanted nothing more than to finally "go home." She had suffered for decades with incurable medical conditions before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer on her 65th birthday. Kathy received the news with relief, cheekily calling the diagnosis her "get out of jail free" card. In this stunningly written blog post, her husband Paul Chefurka remembers their love story and his beloved Kathy's final weeks and moments before the peaceful death she had chosen with enormous strength and resolve.

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Dr. David Amies: When assisted dying rules put politics before patients' rights

In his latest entry for Dying With Dignity Canada's blog, Dr. David Amies delves into some of the eyebrow-raising language featured in the policies of some long-term care homes that won't allow residents to access assisted dying on-site. What he found was a good deal of hypocrisy, scorn for Canadians' right to a peaceful death, and the stunning admission on the part of these facilities that their bans on assisted dying may ultimately infringe upon residents' right to choice.

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DWDC, CAMAP issue joint statement on forced transfers for assisted dying

Medical assistance in dying (MAID) is a constitutionally protected right in Canada. However, institutional barriers to accessing that right remain rife in the healthcare system. Obstructionist policies have created harmful delays and confusion for Canadians who are already suffering intolerably on account of their medical conditions.

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Infographic: The Canadians you empowered in 2017

How many lives did you touch by supporting Dying With Dignity Canada in 2017? The numbers speak for themselves.

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Sylvia's story: My husband's assisted death was peaceful and completely on his own terms

Dr. Doug Henshaw lived a life full of colour and adventure. He was a brilliant surgeon and a pioneer in life — and in death. His decision to access medical assistance in dying in September 2016 made him one of the first Nova Scotians to choose this newly available option. In this special blog post, Doug's wife, Sylvia, writes about his incredible life and choice.

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Colette’s story: My mother fought for her right to assisted dying. This is her legacy.

Not long after Canada passed its assisted dying law in June 2016, British Columbia's Mary John submitted her request and was approved. But her joy over being able to die on her own terms quickly turned to additional pain and frustration when hospice staff repeatedly obstructed her access, needlessly prolonging her life and her suffering.

After weeks of this active interference, Mary finally got her wish: She became one of the first British Columbians to access assisted dying — if not, the first. Throughout her weeks-long ordeal, she and her family never once stopped advocating for her right to a peaceful death. 

In this powerful blog post, Mary’s daughter, Colette, and her boyfriend, Dean, share how Mary's fight for choice and compassion was able to pave the way for patients and families in her community and province.

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I supported my husband on his assisted dying journey. This is what I learned.

In early November, Jana Buhlmann wrote a powerful entry for the DWDC blog about her husband, Chris, who had a medically assisted death in September 2017. In her follow-up post, Jana reflects on the resistance Chris faced from people in his life who opposed his end-of-life choice — and the lessons she learned about herself along the journey.

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