Our stories

Dr. Sutherland's tough choice

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Dr. Donald Sutherland with daughter Barbara at the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre in Toronto.

A man of high principles

During my father’s career he was known for his determination to raise the profession of chiropractic in Canada to the highest standard. He was an exceptional orator and journalist. He was the first president of the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.

He believed in collaborative efforts with the medical profession. This, his final decision about his own death, has become part of his legacy. One way for me to honour him is to share the story with others who may be helped by knowing that it is always their choice to accept or reject a pacemaker, to replace a battery, or to deactivate a device. It is a life-sustaining treatment. It is a treatment with great potential to improve and lengthen life. It also may extend life beyond where the patient wants to go.

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Nagui's story

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What does it mean to have a rich life? Nagui Morcos considered that he had a rich life: a life full of music, fine food and wine, chocolate and cheese, theatre, fashion, dance, motorcycles, travel, laughter, a good education and a rewarding career (including the company of a giant cow named Beulah), volunteerism, patriotism, the love and support of friends and family, and a passionate love affair with his wife, Jan Crowley.

Most people would readily agree that these wonderful things are all markers of a "rich life," but what is most remarkable about Nagui, and a true indication of his endlessly positive spirit, is that he considered his life to be rich, despite living for 18 years with Huntington’s Disease, a devastating, terminal, neurodegenerative disease that had taken the life of his father, Fouad. 

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Barb's Story

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When the Supreme Court of Canada struck down this country’s laws against assisted dying, Barb Gibson-Clifford cheered in her kitchen.

"I was overwhelmed a bit," she says. "It felt so powerful to me that the nine judges were in consensus and spoke as an entity."

The weight of the decision means a lot to Barb because she has been fighting uterine cancer for 10 years. She is now Stage 4.

"That means that any therapies done on me are palliative," she says. "The disease will continue to come back. It won't ever go away, so I know that someday, it will end my life."

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Linda's Story

Waterloo's Linda Jarrett

"I do feel strongly that if possible I want to be in charge of the end of my life," says Linda Jarrett, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998.

From diagnosis until the present time, Linda has been what is termed secondary progressive, without relapses or remissions. "I have been on a steady decline in terms of my mobility," she says. She can no longer walk, even with the aid of a walker, and relies on a travel scooter to remain mobile.

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