On October 24th, 2021 our mother, Donna Duncan, who had no terminal diagnosis, had been approved for Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) and was scheduled to die in two days. We spent the next week fighting for my mom's life by any legal means, including having her sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Unfortunately, my mother's depression was not enough to hold her in the Psychiatric Unit beyond 48 hours. On October 29th at 8:30 pm, we were notified by our mother's common-law partner that she was dead, less than 4 hours after being released from the psychiatric unit.
While we have been advocates of death by Medical Assistance in situations where there is a terminal diagnosis or death is imminent, we had no idea that Canada’s laws leave considerable room for interpretation by activist doctors. Our legislation leaves gaps that allow individuals who are not terminal to end their life with little assessment or approval by their GP. It was explained to us by a lawyer who represented a woman in Nova Scotia who appealed her husband’s MAID application, “There is no case law regarding MAID in Canada. It’s the Wild West right now”.
We are sharing our story because no family should experience this devastating loss. Our hope is that we can enlighten others about the shocking legislation that leaves Canada’s Euthanasia deaths the highest in the world. These already lax laws are relaxing even further in the following few years. We should all be very concerned.
Changing Legislation is a long and complicated process that is extremely costly, and we need all the help we can get. Please spread the word about all that we are doing, and help us gain the support we need.