NEWS

Donna DeLorme wants government to move faster on right-to-die legislation

07/07/2015 10:17 EDT | Updated 07/07/2016 05:59 EDT
A Calgary woman desperately wants the federal government to act faster on the rules allowing doctor-assisted suicide.

Donna DeLorme, 47, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 20 years, is bedridden, in a lot of pain and relies on caregivers for all of her daily needs.

DeLorme is frustrated the federal government is delaying new legislation since the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the ban on physician-assisted suicide in February. The top court gave the Harper government 12 months to draft legislation, but now says it needs more time.

"I'd really like to end my life," said DeLorme. "I don't have a husband or kids or anything like that to live for.  I want my suffering to end. I want my pain to end."

University of Calgary medical ethicist, Juliet Guichon, says new rules could help people like DeLorme and physicians who are feeling a lot of stress and anxiety without a new framework for the controversial practice.

"If we could just establish the rules, then I think a lot of people would feel better," said Guichon. "The anxiety and the stress that's been created could be alleviated if we could get the rule-making process underway and advanced"

The deadline for legislation is February 2016. The government has said it will begin consultations but will not be making an announcement before the election in October.

The rules can't come fast enough for DeLorme.

"There's nothing anybody can do or say to make me change my mind," said DeLorme. "You just have to let us go. I don't want to exist. I don't want to just sit here day after day and I suffer and I struggle to get through every day. Every night I go to bed and I wake up in the morning and I have to do it all over again."

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