Advance requests for MAID: A top priority for Parliament

Personal Stories | February 3, 2023 | Andrea Sells

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In May 2022, my husband, Roy Sells, who suffered from dementia and chronic, unfixable pain, was able to access MAID and have a calm and painless death. Roy wanted, and was able, to avoid further inevitable, frightening and lengthy decline as his dementia worsened. The information provided though Dying With Dignity Canada (DWDC) helped us learn about MAID and we were able to get Roy assessed while he was still able to qualify, though it was close to the time when he would not have been able to communicate his wishes clearly. 

Having the option to choose MAID was an enormous relief to Roy. The Ottawa MAID team was wonderfully compassionate and careful in assessing Roy and when the sad time arrived, the principal doctor and the doctor-in-training who provided MAID were tremendously reassuring and sensitive. Hard as it was for me and our son to lose such a special person, we are so thankful that this monumental personal choice was available in Canada. We come from the UK originally, where MAID is not yet allowed. 

Andrea shares photos of Roy that illustrate his slow, progressive decline.

We have been following the slow political process to make advance requests for MAID legal. People with a diagnosis of dementia and other diseases that restrict communication need confirmation that their future wishes will be carried out. One never knows when the ability to qualify for MAID will pass. The relief of knowing that this choice will be provided when the time and conditions specified come will be immense to so many.   

Roy and I have been donors to DWDC for some years because we appreciate your great work in promoting MAID as a legal option for Canadians and for providing educational online MAID seminars to the public. I encourage others to subscribe to Dying With Dignity Canada’s emails and updates and to send a letter to their MP in support of advance requests for MAID.  

In closing, I want to address the members of the Parliamentary Review directly and urge them to legalize advance requests for MAID as soon as possible. Please understand that having the legal option of this choice will give peace of mind to so many. And please, don’t delay.

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