Wanda Morris is the Executive Director of Dying With Dignity Canada (DWD), the national charity that comforts Canadians at end-of-life by offering emotional support and information about all legal choices. DWD also promotes advance care planning, advocates for patients’ rights and discredits myths about the dangers of legalizing medical aid-in-dying.
Let me be clear, we want thoughtfully legislated access to assisted dying -- not a free for all. We have established a Physicians Advisory Council to ensure we have input from physicians across the country. We want to work with doctors and medical associations to support legislation that provides choices and safeguards for both patients and doctors.
It is a sad truth that a terminally ill person's death is already imminent. The question we therefore have to ask ourselves is whether that imminent death should be replete with pain and suffering in order to maintain a belief-system which relies on thinking doctors and nurses cannot be trusted, or whether that death should be pain-free when the individual is competent to decide that a life of continued suffering robs life of its personal meaning.
08/21/2013 02:04 EDT
We are greatly encouraged by the CMA's recent poll of physicians that found should euthanasia be legalized, 26 per cent would be willing to actively participate. A further 20% were undecided. This is a stunning number. Once assisted dying is legalized, medical professionals and the public see for themselves the positive changes that result. Palliative care improves. Doctors become better at caring for individuals at end of life. Conversations between doctors and patients about desired end-of-life care take place.
08/20/2013 12:23 EDT
Greg Robinson doesn't want to die. But Greg has HIV/AIDS. He lives with the knowledge that the time will come when his life becomes an endless struggle with pain, nausea, vomiting, breathlessness and extreme fatigue. When that time comes, Greg wants the right to choose a medically-assisted death.
03/04/2013 12:18 EST
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