The Winnipeg chapter started just a few months after a local woman named Susan Griffiths went public with her story about needing to go to Switzerland to die because Canadian law had not yet changed to allow her to die with assistance at home.
Susan had to die as much as a year or two before it would've been truly necessary, because she would've required help after a certain point, and help was illegal. A few of us got angry enough about the need to change the laws that we agreed to start a chapter.
Now that Canadian law has changed to allow for medical assistance in dying, we have shifted our focus to mainly public education and support. The majority of our work involves training people in understanding patient rights and the legal and practical aspects of their Health Care Directive. We also talk to people about their end-of-life wishes: the practical, emotional, and social implications of preparing for the last chapter of life.
Three volunteers run the Winnipeg chapter: Dorothy Stephens, Sherry Lyn Marginet, and Cheri Frazer.
For more information about the Winnipeg chapter, please send an email to [email protected]