Advance care planning: What you need to know

Have you started thinking about advance care planning? Do you know who you would choose to make decisions about your health on your behalf? If you haven’t started working on your plan yet, April — Advance Care Planning Month — is a great time to start. Dying With Dignity Canada is running a special advance care planning blog series throughout the month, with posts designed to guide you through different aspects of the process and introduce important things to consider.

In the first instalment of the series, Dying With Dignity Canada's Education and Engagement Officer Maureen Aslin answers commonly asked questions about how to get started on your advance care plan (ACP) and dispels some misconceptions about ACPs.

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Jenny’s story: Loving my mother and learning how to navigate the choice of an assisted death

Watching a family member access medical assistance in dying (MAID) can be a complicated emotional experience, one that Nova Scotia’s Jenny Hasselman knows all too well. Hasselman supported her mother — her favourite person in the world — on a journey with assisted dying after her mother’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Now, she is sharing her story as part of her healing process with the hope that her words will normalize the procedure and shine a light on a flawed requirement in the law.

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In Case You Missed It: March 2019

In Case You Missed It is a round-up of news articles and commentaries featuring Dying With Dignity Canada speakers and stories. Did you miss these stories in March?

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Lizzie’s story: “Finally, I have some control over what is happening to me.”

Jeanie Gagnon’s Aunt Lizzie lived a long and full life before intolerable suffering led her to make the decision to access medical assistance in dying. In unspeakable pain and robbed of the ability to do the activities she loved most, Lizzie was unwavering in her choice. In this special Dying With Dignity Canada blog post, Jeanie — who has asked that her real name not be used to protect her privacy — shares her aunt’s experience with choosing and preparing for a medically assisted death.

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Most Albertans believe assisted dying should be allowed at all public hospitals: poll

Eight in 10 Albertans disagree with the practice of allowing publicly funded hospitals in the province to ban assisted dying on their premises, a new poll has found.

In February, Dying With Dignity Canada (DWDC) commissioned the research firm Ipsos to conduct a survey of 800 Albertans on whether they believe all public hospitals in the province should be required to allow medical assistance in dying (MAID) on-site. The poll follows a series of news reports by CBC Edmonton surrounding the treatment of severely ill Albertans who requested MAID in healthcare facilities where it is banned.

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Megan’s story: My mother’s fight to have an assisted death in her own home

Dr. Devorah Greenberg was a lifelong social justice advocate. Ordinarily, the Simon Fraser University professor campaigned for the rights of others whose freedom or well-being was at risk. But her final campaign for social justice saw her fight for her own rights — in particular, her right to access medical assistance in dying in the long-term care facility which she had come to call home. In a moving new testimonial for Dying With Dignity Canada’s blog, Dr. Greenberg’s daughter, Megan, describes what it was like to support her mother in her quest to end her life how, when, and where she wanted.

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In Case You Missed It: February 2019

In Case You Missed It is a round-up of news articles and commentaries featuring Dying With Dignity Canada speakers and stories. Did you miss these stories in February?

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Barrie's story: How a requirement in Canada's assisted dying law prevented my wife from accessing her choice

In this blog post, Barrie Radcliffe of Barrie, Ont. candidly shares how the late-stage consent requirement in Canada's assisted dying law had tragic, heartbreaking consequences for his wife, Lynne.

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Liana Brittain: How Canada’s flawed assisted dying law led my husband to end his life earlier than he wanted

All Paul Couvrette wanted was more time. He had finally met and married the love of his life, and they had retired to their dream home by the sea on Prince Edward Island. But Paul's lifelong retirement dream was cut tragically short when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer not long after their move.

Choosing to die with dignity on his own terms, Paul underwent the rigorous screening and approval process for medical assistance in dying. He was found to be eligible for the procedure, but a flaw in Canada's assisted dying law forced Paul to die earlier than he wanted.

In this blog, his widow, Liana Brittain, reflects on the late-stage consent requirement in the law and the cruel choice it forced Paul to make.

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Dr. David Amies: The next frontier for assisted dying in Canada

In this blog post, Dr. David Amies takes a look at the groups of Canadians who are harmed by the late-stage consent requirement in Canada's assisted dying law.

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