John was born and educated in Alberta. After being engaged in a number of different businesses in Alberta, he moved to Victoria in the late 1980s. For almost three decades, he had an import/wholesale business, affording the opportunity for extensive travel and the giving him an exposure to many different countries and cultures. He is currently working at a local food bank and enthusiastically embraces the opportunity to work with Dying With Dignity Canada's Disability Advisory Committee to further a cause he has long felt passionate about.
Although I do not have any serious health issues at the moment, it has been my belief for a very long time that we should all have the right to be in charge of our own destiny, particularly regarding those to do with "end of life." I believe that there is a great deal of confusion in our society between the sanctity of life and sanctity of a quality of life.
This past year my mother-in-law passed away after many years in a hospital bed. A stroke five years before had left her paralyzed on her entire right side and unable to make any intelligible sounds. Had there been proper "right-to-die" legislation and were she able to record in advance her wishes, I know she would have chosen to end her life. Instead she was forced to live in a seemingly never-ending cycle of sleeping, being fed food mushed to baby food consistency and desperately trying to communicate with those around her. I don't believe by any definition that is quality of life.