Full schedule of events.

Wednesday November 2

6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 

World Right to Die Reception and Remarks

Thursday November 3

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

WFRTDS General Assembly

Rob Jonquière, Executive Director, WFRTDS


1. Welcome  7. Motions
2. Minutes 2021 8. WF Terminology 
3. New Societies 9. WF 2.0 
4. Reports (Executive Director/Treasurer)10. Biennial Conferences
5. Presentation of nominees for new
WFRtDS Committee
Election Committee 2022-2024 
11. Appointment of the auditor 
COFFEE BREAK12. Any other business 
6. Budget 2022 – 2024 
Membership Fee 
13. Close business meeting 

9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 

CAMAP Medical Assistance in Dying Training Workshop

This is a concentrated, accredited MAID training workshop developed by the Canadian Association of MAiD Assessors and Providers (CAMAP) and is open to Canadian clinicians (eligible to practice in Canada) looking to begin or increase their knowledge
about practice. The workshop will provide information on assessing patients and providing MAID and allow for small group interaction as well as time for individual questions. Participants will be able to review the current eligibility criteria and discuss them in a diversity of case scenarios and will learn the basics of how to provide MAID in the community and understand reporting requirements.

Lunch is available from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. for this session. 

Dr. Stefanie Green, President of CAMAP
Willi Kirenko, Nurse Practitioner 

2:00 – 4:30 p.m.

WFRTDS General Assembly,  Continued

Rob Jonquière, Executive Director, WFRTDS

In the afternoon member societies are given possibilities to give a presentation on issues of interest to WF members: share advocacy plans and issues, find common solutions every society will meet when struggling for law change, bring forward ideas and suggestions to enlarge successes, report on whatever activities your society undertook in the scope of its efforts to increase public support, etc. 

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Welcome reception

Friday November 4

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. 

Opening Remarks

8:45 – 9:30 a.m. 

Keynote Address

Dr. Jeff Myers, MD, MSEd, CCFP(PC)

Palliative care and MAID: The state of the relationship

The continued rise in the number of jurisdictions in which assisted dying legislation and clinical processes are being debated, considered, or implemented underscores the importance of maintaining a dialogue about the relationship between palliative care and MAID. The need for such a dialogue is backed by evidence with over 80% of Canadian MAID recipients in 2021 also being recipients of palliative care, half of whom received palliative care for more than a month. Despite sharing a deep commitment to both alleviating suffering and high-quality end-of-life experiences for people and their loved ones, the relationship remains at best complex. For countries, states and regions in the early phases of operationalizing assisted dying, this presentation will outline the history of the relationship and describe strategies that could facilitate mutualism. A broad range of perspectives will be considered, including direct care provision, health systems planning and utilization as well as scholarship. The lenses that will be brought are those of:

– a clinician who provides both palliative care and MAID

– a health systems leader who has spent 25 years advocating for the needs of people nearing end of life as well as building capacity to meet these needs

– University of Toronto’s Bresver Family Chair in End-of-Life Care and MAID

– a son whose relatively healthy 75-year-old mother cares only that she has access to both “when the time comes.”

9:40 – 10:30 a.m.

MAID in Canada: An Update on How Changes Have Affected Patients and Practitioners

Since 2016, there have been several court cases in Canada helping clarify interpretation of MAID law, and in 2021 there were significant federal amendments to legislation. This has led to expansion in access as well as a change in the scope of work for MAID assessors and providers. This presentation will focus on the recent amendments to MAID law in Canada and their impact on patients, families and clinicians.

Dr. Stefanie Green, President of CAMAP, DWDC Clinicians Advisory Council
Dr. Ellen Wiebe, CAMAP Board Member, DWDC Clinicians Advisory Council

9:40 – 10:30 a.m. 

Accurate Language is Critical for Law Reform

Words matter. Definitions matter. Framing matters. The words, definitions and framing we use to describe the choice to end suffering at the end of life have an impact on achieving that choice for others. The session aims to identify the term that best defines the process that allows a person with advanced, progressive illness, who has intolerable suffering, to end their life with medical assistance. Ideally, the session will achieve a consensus on value-neutral language, such as medical assistance in dying (as used in Canada) or voluntary assisted dying (as used in Australia), and strategize how to achieve broad-based adoption of that value-neutral language.


Anne Bunning, B Ag Ec, MA
Susan Desjardins, BA, MA, MBA

11:00 – 11:30 a.m. 

MAiDHouse – Creating a Space for a Peaceful MAiD Death 

Receiving a life-limiting diagnosis is a life-altering moment for people and also for their loved ones. After years of advocacy work, Canada has legalized medical assistance in dying for eligible patients; however, this does not mean equal access to this treatment because not everybody has a place to die peacefully. We have learned from people who don’t have a home available or who don’t want to go to hospital why the existence of MAiDHouse is so important. This presentation is for those interested in increasing access to a comfortable, home-like setting for MAID. MAiDHouse will share the experience from conceptualization of this vision to the day of opening the doors.

Dr. Chantal Perrot
Tekla Hendrickson

11:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Bridging the Gap – Importance of Establishing Peer to Peer Connections in MAID 

The importance of peer connections and community support through all stages of assisted dying and the benefits of offering individuals a compassionate, safe and supportive peer-based community as they journey through medical assistance in dying.

Lauren Clark, President & CEO of Bridge C-14 and Social Worker
Signy Novak, Founder and Director of the MAiD Family Support Society 1:1 Peer Support Program
Alicia Freeborn, Coordinator of Volunteer Services, Volunteer Facilitator

11:40 – 12:10 p.m.

An Alzheimer’s Odyssey – Coming Full Circle – Moving Forward Towards Healing

This is a personal story reflecting four years of a shared Alzheimer’s journey coming full circle towards embracing her husband’s peaceful MAID death and moving forward. Jule’s story honouring his strength, insight and courage unfolds through personal song, reading from her memoir The Hot Chocolate and Decadent Cake Society- Alzheimer’s and The Choice For MAiD, personal reflection and glimpses of Alzheimer’s through excerpts of transcribed recorded conversations between Jule and her husband Wayne.

Jule Briese, retired educator, poet and songwriter and the author of The Hot Chocolate and Decadent Cake Society -Alzheimer’s and The Choice For MAiD – A Memoir in Poetry and Prose

11:40 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. 

Hanne’s Story 

The first Canadian to receive a court-ordered exemption, Hanne Schafer’s story of perseverance in the face of obstacles she encountered over a three-year period after being diagnosed with ALS.

Dr. Mary Valentich, Professor Emerita, University of Calgary

1:30 – 2:00 p.m. 

Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking: A Lesser Known but Widely Available End-of-Life Option

Medical aid in dying rightly gets significant attention from policymakers, academics, and advocates. But even in countries with broad eligibility for MAID, not all interested patients can qualify. It is important to better clarify other alternative end-of-life options like Voluntary Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED).

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD, HEC-C

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. 

The Final Report of the Expert Panel on MAiD and Mental Illness

Rose M. Carter, Vice-Chair of the Expert Panel on MAID and Mental Health, joins us to discuss the steps needed to be taken prior to March 2024 and the path forward as Canadians begin the journey to understanding the significance of the rights of patients seeking MAID when their sole health condition is mental illness.

Rose M. Carter

2:00 – 2:30 p.m. 

Pharmacology and Physiology of a Quicker, Simpler and More Predictable Intravenous Procedure for MAID Providers

This presentation is probably the first detailed description of ECG, pulse oximeter and respiration changes as recorded on a monitor during an assisted death procedure in Switzerland using a rapid i/v infusion of 15g of pentobarbitone. As well as the rapid onset of unconsciousness and respiratory arrest, cardiac function ceases within as little as one minute, probably by a direct cardiotoxic effect rather than persistent anxoxia. No other drugs are used or needed, making this protocol suitable for self-administration in countries that allow assisted dying but forbid doctor-administered medication.

Colin Brewer, retired British psychiatrist/addiction physician, Board Member My Death, My Decision

3:00 – 4:30 p.m. 

Assisted Dying Around the World: Panel One 

Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland 

Dr. Derryck Smith
Jane Morris
Dr. Gary Payinda
Dr. Erika Preisig

4:30 – 5:00 p.m. 

End of Day Wrap Up

Saturday November 5

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. 

Opening Remarks

8:45 – 9:15 a.m. 

Keynote Address

Senator Pamela Wallin will speak to her Senate Public Bill S-248, which seeks an exemption to the Criminal Code of Canada to allow for advance requests for medical assistance in dying for Canadians diagnosed with a serious or incurable disease, illness or disability. Her bill would allow Canadians to waive the requirement for final consent when receiving MAID if they lose capacity and it will allow provinces and territories to legally create advance request frameworks. She will also discuss the evolution of the policy process of advance requests and her involvement in the ongoing Special Joint Parliamentary Committee on MAID.

Senator Pamela Wallin

9:25 – 9:55 a.m. 

Organ Donation After MAID (ODE) – An International Perspective 

The combined procedure of medical assistance in dying (MAID) followed by organ donation after circulatory death is known as ODE. We aim to provide an overview and to inform patients, health care professionals involved in end-of-life care and organ donation care and policymakers regarding due care provision of ODE.

Dr. Hans Sonneveld 

9:25 – 9:55 a.m. 

Media & Euthanasia: Changing How We Talk About Self-Determined Death

How, through the cases of Yolanda Chaparro and Martha Sepúlveda, we changed the way the media talks about euthanasia and death in Colombia.

Camila Jaramillo Salazar, Lawyer and associate researcher at DescLAB

10:05 – 10:40 a.m. 

The Canadian Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) Curriculum Development Project 

To provide information about an emerging Canadian MAID educational curriculum to a general audience. MAID has been legal for eligible Canadians since 2016. Teaching clinicians how to perform MAID assessments and provisions is not standardized in Canada; standardized MAID-related education is a growing need.

Dr. Gord Gubitz, Clinical Lead for the MAID Program in Nova Scotia, Chair of the Canadian MAID Curriculum Development Committee 

10:05 – 10:40 a.m. 

Dying with dignity with dementia; the first case in Canada.

This personal story is from the first case of assisted death in Canada where Alzheimer’s disease was the only medical condition. In countries where voluntary euthanasia is permitted, and where it is considered, many people, professionals and regulators will have a strong interest in knowing when and how this can be a reasonable option.

Dr. Konia Trouton, MD, MPH, FCFP 

11:10 – 11:40 a.m.


Vancouver Coastal Health Authority – Medical Assistance in Dying Program 

Evaluating the Medical Assistance in Dying Program from a patient’s and family’s perspective across Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCHA).

Felor Javadi Vashar, Patient, Family and Staff Experience
Laurel Plewes, Director of the Assisted Dying Program at VCH

11:10 – 11:40 a.m. 

Issues at End-of-Life for Patients with Dementia in Japan 

Japan has the world’s highest elderly population and has many patients with dementia. Crucially, these patients face difficulty in communicating and swallowing in the later stages of their disease, which eventually leads to death. However, palliative care is not provided to these patients because they are not considered to be dying. I will report on the status of end-of-life care for patients with dementia in Japan and consider both the background and future of such care.

Dr. Reiko Miyamoto, MD 

11:50 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

Dying with a smile, just knowing that someone’s listened to me: End-of-life care and medical assistance in dying in Canadian prisons

End-of-life care and medical assistance in dying in Canadian prisons.

Dr. Jessica Shaw, Associate Professor, University of Calgary

11:50 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. 

The three roles of NVVE: advisor (for our members), driver of the public debate and leader of the community that supports our ideals

As an end-of-life organization, how do you lobby, advise and inform your members, and keep the debate going?

Dick Bosscher, Board Member and former journalist

1:40 – 2:25 p.m. 

Psychosocial Reasons for Hastening Death 

Researching the reasons people think they might want to hasten their death and the reasons when they actually choose to do so.

Mary Ewert, PhD, Executive Director of Final Exit Network

1:40 – 2:25 p.m. 

Deepening our Understanding of MAID through Digital Storytelling 

The purpose of this research project was to better understand the experiences of family and friends that accompany someone throughout their dying process involving MAID in the province of Ontario.

Kathy Kortes-Miller, MSW, PhD
Keri-Lyn Durant

2:35 – 3:20 p.m. 

Grief and Bereavement Related to Medical Assistance in Dying: A Scoping Review 

Emerging research suggests that MAID can uniquely influence the bereavement process. There is a dearth of knowledge regarding the impact of MAID deaths on loved ones and how to best address their specific needs.

Dr. Han Yan
Tekla Hendrickson, Executive Director of MAiDHouse 

2:35 – 3:20 p.m. 

Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Laws & Discrimination 

To raise awareness that quite a number of laws, also recently enacted ones, permitting an individual to end their suffering and life with the assistance of another person such as a medical or other professional create discrimination by including individuals with certain health conditions and excluding others from accessing assistance – and how to tackle this issue.

Silvan Luley, DIGNITAS – To live with dignity – To die with dignity

3:30 – 4:40 p.m. 

Assisted Dying Around the World: Panel Two

France, Italy and Mexico  

Dr. Derryck Smith 
Annie Wallet 
Johannes Agterberg

4:40 – 5:00 p.m. 

Closing Remarks

5:30 p.m. 


6:00 p.m. 

Awards and Farewell Dinner 

Empower. Inform. Protect your rights.