Winnipeg Chapter

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An Advance Care Planning presentation in Winnipeg

About Us

The Winnipeg Chapter started just a few months after a local woman named Susan Griffiths went public with her story about needing to go to Switzerland to die because Canadian law had not yet changed to allow her to die with assistance at home. Susan had to die as much as a year or two before it would’ve been truly necessary, because she would’ve required help after a certain point. A few of us got angry enough about the need to change the laws that we agreed to start a Chapter. Now that Canadian law has changed to allow for medical assistance in dying, we have shifted our focus to mainly public education and support. 

The majority of our work as a chapter involves helping people understand patient rights and the legal and practical aspects of their Health Care Directive. We also talk to people about their end of life wishes: the practical, emotional, and social implications of preparing for the last chapter of life.

Meetings for chapter members are about whatever we’d all like to talk about; contact us with your ideas for a get-together.

Services Provided

  • Education through in-person and virtual events on end-of-life choice
  • Presentations and workshops on Advance Care Planning and Health Care Directives
  • Presentations on medical assistance in dying (MAID) and how to access it in Manitoba
  • General presentations on end-of-life decisions and conversations
  • Independent Witnessing for medical assistance in dying requests in Manitoba
  • Political advocacy regarding provincial actions around MAID provisions
  • Media relations regarding MAID issues, including writing articles and placing them in local newspapers

Our Chapter's Team

Upcoming Events

Additional Resources

"The Power of Love's Connectivity: A Case Study of MAiD" by Don Ayre of Manitoba

Jean Ayre was one of the first 100 patients in Manitoba to apply for medical assistance in dying.

"The Power of Love's Connectivity: A Case Study of MAiD" by Don Ayre of Manitoba

This Is Assisted Dying: A Doctor's Story of Empowering Patients at the End of Life

A transformative and compassionate memoir by a leading pioneer in medically assisted dying.

This Is Assisted Dying: A Doctor's Story of Empowering Patients at the End of Life

Last Week

Picture book - A child cherishes every second of their grandmother's last week of life in this sensitive portrayal of medical assistance in dying (MAiD).

Last Week

Additional Information

About Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) in Manitoba

Note: The Winnipeg Chapter of Dying With Dignity Canada and the Manitoba MAID team are not the same thing! The MAID team is a group of medical professionals who help patients who request medical assistance in dying. DWDC is a non-profit organization dedicated to patient rights and end-of-life issues.

There is currently only one MAID team, based in Winnipeg, that coordinates all requests for assistance to die in Manitoba. If you are considering applying for MAID, don’t wait until the situation is dire to contact the team. Contact them today for a chat if you’re unsure.

Contact the MAID team:
MAID website (Manitoba only)
Phone: 204-926-1380 or toll-free: 1-844-891-1825

About our Advance Care Planning presentations

An effective Advance Directive (also called a Health Care Directive) indicates your wishes about your care should something bad happen and you can’t speak for yourself. Many people arrive at hospitals with either no instructions in writing, or with a paragraph written in language too vague for doctors to act upon. Don’t assume that just because your spouse knows your wishes that that’s what will happen in an emergency. Dying With Dignity Canada has many years of experience in helping people express their wishes clearly in an Advance Care Plan.

To learn more, scroll further down this page to read What is an Advance Care Plan – and why do you need one?

The complete DWDC Advance Care Planning Kit is available to anyone to download for free. However, based on past presentations and reports from patients, families, and health care professionals, there are lots of questions and many issues that need further elaboration and interpretation – hence the need for these events, which are held both in-person and online via Zoom.

Topics addressed in the presentation include:

  • Legal issues around Advance Care Planning (ACP) and Health Care Directives (HCD), including the difference between an HCD and a Power of Attorney
  • Your rights as a patient
  • How to choose your health care proxy (Substitute Decision-Maker)
  • How to ensure that your wishes are carried out
  • Comparisons of different types of HCD’s, and a look at other forms used in Manitoba
  • Discussion of common but imprecise phrases such as “heroic measures” and “artificial means”
  • A walk through the ACP workbook and the Health Care Directive form
  • How to complete the form / how to make copies
  • What to do (and what NOT to do) with your HCD after it’s completed
  • Resources for those who want further information or guidance

Have a pen and paper handy to take notes.

Click here to see a Sample Health Care Directive form

Some of our feedback:

“Having the material visually displayed on the screen was most helpful”
“We already have a plan through our lawyer, but this pointed out how insufficient it is. Greatly appreciated.”

“A wake up call to get started & do the necessary work.”
“Loved all the info provided. Very knowledgeable presenter. I like that is was presented by someone with a medical background & experience in the medical / real world & life experience.”
“It was a real eye opener.”

“Excellent presenter, much practical experience & knowledge was shared. Helped me get my head around the idea of an (sic) HCD, which I previously preferred to ignore!”
“Well done. Dorothy was knowledgeable, well prepared – very effective speaker! Thank you!”
“Notes were given so you can pay attention to the presentation.”

“The information gave direction as to what to enter on the form. Gave me info on what to think about – WOW! I’m glad I came.”
​“Excellent presenter, & class organization & handouts.”
“ I am glad I attended the workshop. Very informative.”
“Sharing by the presenter of the intracacies (sic) and practicalities from her experience about health care directive decisions.”

Contact us


DWDC supports Canadians navigating end-of-life choice and care, we do not provide the information or means to end a life.

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A photo of someone filling out a form, and a headshot of the author Dorothy Stephens

Featured story

What is an Advance Care Plan  – and why do you need one? 

Dorothy Stephens is the Advance Care Planning educator for Dying With Dignity Canada's Winnipeg Chapter. She has a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Manitoba and worked as a Registered Nurse in Winnipeg hospitals for 30 years. Sh...

Empower. Inform. Protect your rights.