Blog

Tom's story: My mother fought for and won the choice of a peaceful death

Renate Morris was told time and time again that she would not qualify for an assisted death. But instead of accepting that her fate was out of her hands, she empowered herself and fought for what she knew was her Charter right. In this special blog post, her son Thomas and daughter-in-law Elaine write about her incredible journey towards the peaceful and dignified death she wanted.

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David's story: How my mother's desperate decision led me to support Dying With Dignity Canada

One year ago, on an early Sunday morning, David J. Adams’ mother made a desperate decision in the hopes of ending her unbearable suffering. It shouldn’t have had to come to that, and that’s why Canadians need Dying With Dignity Canada, he writes.

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Life on the locked unit: An employee at a long-term care facility shares why she supports advance requests

Recently, Nina Lee — one of Dying With Dignity Canada's monthly donors — offered to share her powerful perspective with us. As an employee at a long-term care facility who works primarily with individuals living with Alzheimer's, Nina (not her real name) has been confronted by the tragedy of Alzheimer's disease time and time again. Now, she's using her heartbreaking experiences to speak out in support of advance requests.

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B.C.'s Noreen Campbell reflects on her choice in new video series

British Columbia's Noreen Campbell recognized the value and the power of sharing her story.

Before she had the peaceful death she so desired on January 12, the long-time nurse made it a priority in her final months of life to share her perspectives on planning for end of life, requesting assisted dying and the country’s new medical aid in dying legislation. In the weeks before she died, she did interviews with the Victoria Times Colonist, The Globe and Mail and with CBC Radio host Dr. Brian Goldman. She was candid and honest until the very end, offering an intimate and rare glimpse into her journey.

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Why medically assisted dying is not suicide

Assisted dying, physician-assisted death, medical assistance in dying. These are some of the terms our spokespeople use when they give a presentation or interview about Canadians’ right to die with the help of a doctor.

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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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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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