In Case You Missed It: May 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 May?

Eligibility

Kathleen Venema, a professor at the University of Winnipeg, wrote a piece advocating for advance requests for assisted dying after watching her mother live with Alzheimer’s for 12 years. Read her opinion piece on The Globe and Mail.

Quebec’s Yves Bessette ended his own life after he was denied access to medical assistance in dying (MAID). His daughter has launched a petition to urge the government of Quebec to make the eligibility criteria less restrictive. Read the piece on La Voix de l’Est. (Article is in French.)

Quebec is exploring the possibility of allowing advance requests for assisted dying. Read more on Le Droit. (Article is in French.)

The Alzheimer Society of Canada has suspended its statement opposing advance requests for assisted dying and is poised to adopt a stance that will “not advocate for or against a particular policy, but rather focus on providing information and support for people with dementia.” Read more on Maclean’s.

Maclean’s writer Shannon Proudfoot explores the issue of advance requests for assisted dying. Read her piece here.

Access

On May 15, the Ontario appeal court dismissed a court challenge to a policy that requires doctors in the province who oppose assisted dying to connect patients who request it to a provider or agency who can help. The effective referral policy is essential to ensuring that clinicians who oppose assisted dying don’t block rightful access for suffering Ontarians.

One out of two doctors in Quebec who have turned down requests for assisted dying have probably done so without justification under the law, said the head of the province’s commission on end-of-life care. Read more on the Montreal Gazette.

The Foothills Country Hospice in Alberta has voted in favour of allowing assisted dying on-site. Read more on Western Wheel.

Support

Michelle Fisher is the provincial manager of the new Saskatchewan MAID program. She opened up to CBC Saskatoon about her role and the lessons she’s learned so far. Read more.

Education

Today’s end-of-life landscape looks nothing like it did in past generations. As legislation, science, and attitudes change, The Walrus explores what it means to die well in their series, The End: How We Die Now.

  • The series includes a deeply moving feature about two sets of spouses, including George and Shirley Brickenden, who accessed assisted dying on the same day. Read it here.

A Toronto woman shared her story just days before her medically assisted death because she wanted to raise awareness about MAID. Read and watch her story on Global News.

Vancouver’s Anakana Schofield, author and DWDC independent witness volunteer, released her latest book, Bina, which addresses modern questions surrounding friendship and death. She spoke with The Globe and Mail about her novel and her volunteer work with our organization. Read it here.

A woman in Newfoundland and Labrador wants more people to be made aware of the option of MAID. She shared the story of her brother’s medically assisted death with The Western Star. Read it here.

It’s never too early to start advance care planning: An Ontario woman shares what she’s learned after talking to her parents about death. Read and listen on CBC Radio’s Now or Never.

Are you interested in learning more about the state of Canadians’ end-of-life rights nearly three years after the passage of the federal assisted dying law? Watch a special recording of the State of the Movement address at DWDC’s 2019 Annual General Meeting.


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