Home News Cautionary Tales from Canada: Death on the Demand

Cautionary Tales from Canada: Death on the Demand


My husband and I were asked by a friend to be witnesses to his request for medically assisted dying two years ago. We were quick to agree. Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) law had been conceived for cases just like his. He was suffering from cancer and respiratory failure. His medical options were exhausted and his pain was severe. He was close to the end. MAiD allowed him to self-administer lethal drugs or have them intravenously given by a physician. In either case, he could fall into an unconscious state and never come out.

We signed the form while his wife watched and tried not to weep. He died in his sleep a few weeks later. Our friend never did use MAiD. He was thankful and relieved to have the option. So were we.

MAiD was widely supported by the Canadian public in its original form. It was enacted into law in 2016. We believe in individual autonomy. We do not believe in pointless suffering—including our own. Canada is a mostly secular nation, and does not adhere to any religious beliefs about the sanctity or worthiness of every God-given being. And so when Justin Trudeau’s government enacted MAiD seven…

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