Shanaaz Gokool is the CEO of Dying With Dignity Canada.
Shanaaz Gokool has over 15 years’ experience in operations management in the private and not-for-profit sectors. She has worked in organizational systems implementation in the areas of financial and budgetary management, human resources and risk management. She holds undergraduate degrees in political science and human rights and equity studies. She also has a certificate in volunteer management and fundraising. She is currently finishing her MA in international relations.
As a human rights activist, Shanaaz has led numerous grassroots initiatives in the Greater Toronto area, including her role as Chair of Amnesty International Toronto Organization (AITO) between 2009 and 2014. She is an active member of the Amnesty International Speaker's Bureau and has been a public spokesperson on a number of human rights issues.
She is excited about the opportunity to expand upon the human rights framework in which she has been trained to advocate for end-of-life choices — a cause that she passionately believes in.
"Death is inevitable. Suffering at the time of death does not have to be.
Legislated and regulated end-of-life choices are as much about the celebration of an individual’s life lived as it is about the grief associated with their inevitable passing.
The concept of dignity is intrinsic to how the vast majority of us define a good life, and certainly deeply embedded within the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Dignity at the time of death is our final expression of what must be recognized as a fundamental human right. To not provide legislated choice is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment for those of us who wish to determine the conditions in which we will spend our last days."