Rosemary Ganley The Peterborough Examiner July 23, 2020
About a year ago, I was at the peaceful bedside of a close friend, Tony, who was being delivered from his excruciating and long-endured cancer pain by “MAID,” Medical Assistance in Dying.
Tony was reconciled with his two daughters, from whom he had been estranged. He was 66 years old, a man alone. He had had a Catholic childhood. I asked him: “Would you like me to read you from the New Testament?” He smiled weakly. “No, thank you,” he said, “from Richard Wagamese ~ 'Embers' please.”
The physician-provider of MAID arrived with an assistant, and asked Tony softly for his final consent. The family lit candles and sang. The implementation was moving and complete.
It must also be realized that the provision of MAID involves a complex human, emotional, spiritual and medical experience for the individual, for his or her family and for the whole community.
In Peterborough, we are fortunate to have individuals and institutions who collaborate closely in offering a nuanced and flexible set of circumstances of choice for people who are contemplating or planning MAID.
It was in June 2016 that the Parliament of Canada passed Bill C14, an act to amend the Criminal Code to satisfy the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. MAID providers, either a physician or a N.P, can provide assistance in dying to eligible adults, namely those of sound mind who have a grievous irremediable medical condition, whose natural death has become reasonably foreseeable, who have made a written request and who have been independently assessed by two doctors.
By this new law, MAID providers were exempt from the criminal laws prohibiting the ending of human life. The request would have to be a signed one, with two independent witnesses who did not stand to benefit and who were not involved in the care. A ten-day reflection period was required. Doctors whose conscience prevented their taking part were excused. Counselling about other options was required.
This, of course, is a sensitive and complex area of ethics. Canadians have showed how much they care about the issue from all sides. Responding to an online invitation to comment, 300,000 Canadians did so. Some religious groups objected, believing life to be “sacred from conception to natural death.” Disability advocates have sounded alarms. The debate has been passionate but respectful. Continue Reading >HERE<
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