When CBC producer Lynn Burgess started working on a documentary series on assisted suicide for The National six months ago, she “sensed a profound public fatigue with the right-to-die issue in Canada.” It was clear to Burgess that there was a greater need to focus the camera on Canadians and the broader end-of-life decisions they face. The series, entitled “Last Right” and beginning its nationwide run tonight, is intended to broaden the national conversation beyond the right-to-die debate. Burgess believes that “what we’re hearing this week from Continue reading →
The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal by doctors at a Toronto hospital who sought to withdraw treatment from Hassan Rasouli, a severely brain-damaged patient who they say has no hope of recovery. Mr. Rasouli has been in a persistent vegetative state and ventilator dependent since October 2010. After an extensive internal review and discussion with the family, the hospital made the decision that CPR and intensive life support was not the standard of care for patients with this diagnosis, as no prolonged medical Continue reading →
In a split two-to-one decision yesterday, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled to uphold Canada’s ban on physician-assisted suicide. The federal government had previously appealed the landmark ruling of Carter v. Canada, which stated that voluntary euthanasia should be allowed under strict conditions. The British Columbia Supreme Court ruled last year that prohibiting assisted suicide violated the Charter rights of gravely ill Canadians. “These are complex issues that involve real people and real emotional situations,” said Hugh Scher, the legal counsel for the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. Continue reading →
Our friend and colleague Dr. Larry Librach, who passed away earlier this month, took the time in May to record the following video interview, in which he discusses his own personal experiences with pancreatic cancer and end-of-life care. Many thanks to the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and advancecareplanning.ca for sharing this moving and informative video.
Matthews House Hospice is pleased to announce the opening of a new four-bedroom hospice in Alliston on Tuesday, August 6, 2013. The facility will open with two beds, expanding to four by the end of the year. The new residential program will help fill the gap for hospice palliative care beds in the Central LHIN. Alongside the residential program, Matthews House will continue to expand their successful community programs, which include home visiting and support for palliative clients, caregivers, the bereaved and their families. The Continue reading →
Today (June 12, 2013) in the Quebec National Assembly, the Dying with Dignity Bill was tabled by the Minister for Social Services and Youth Protection Véronique Hivon. The bill would allow for physician assisted dying in cases of patients near death who are suffering and have requested assisted suicide. The Assembly adjourns for the summer this Friday so the debate and vote on the bill won’t happen until fall. Should the bill pass, it will have complex and confounding implications for end-of-life care in Quebec and Canada. Continue reading →