Personal story

Tracy’s story: My mother’s choice of an assisted death provided a lesson in bravery

In this powerful testimonial, Ontario's Tracy Kelly writes about her beloved and brave mother's choice of a medically assisted death after a terminal cancer diagnosis.

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Linda Crabtree: Why we are writing Dying With Dignity Canada into our wills

Writer and advocate Linda Crabtree, C.M., O.Ont., candidly shares how her mother's intolerable suffering with dementia led her to join Dying With Dignity Canada — and why she's making the commitment to protecting Canadians' end-of-life rights for years to come.

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A powerful excerpt from Liana Brittain's new book

As an active Dying With Dignity Canada volunteer, regular contributor to our blog, and chair of our First Person Witness Council, Liana Brittain has moved people across the world with her powerful storytelling and voice. She has gone above and beyond to keep her final promise to her husband, Paul, who had an assisted death in 2017 and asked her to share the story of his choice.

Liana continues to honour Paul’s request by sharing the story of their love, his terminal cancer diagnosis, and finally, his journey with assisted dying in her new book, MAiD Musings: A Widow’s Reflections. She has generously shared an excerpt from her book, which consists of short vignettes from her life with Paul and her original poetry, on our blog. Read the emotional excerpt below!

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Bill's family story: How we supported our strong, courageous mother in her choice of an assisted death

In this moving and emotional testimonial, British Columbia’s Bill Currie shares what it was like to support his mother, Minnie, on her journey with assisted dying.

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Tammy’s story: How I’m creating space in my Vietnamese family to talk about death, dying, and end of life

Advance care planning involves having difficult discussions that require individuals to navigate often complex aspects of culture and family relationships. In this special Dying With Dignity Canada blog post, supporter and volunteer Tammy Pham talks about how she’s opening up space for conversations about death and dying within her Vietnamese-Canadian family, where such topics are often considered taboo and avoided. She also provides insights and tips on how people can overcome cultural barriers to initiate and foster these important discussions.

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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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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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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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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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