A recent report from Island Health states that the rate of medically assisted deaths on Vancouver Island is about five times higher than in the rest of Canada.
Why? Why would so many choose to die early?
Dr. David Robertson, executive medical director for Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) for Island Health co-authored the report and suggests demographic and social factors likely play a role and that “BC has a long history of legal and social activism in favour of assisted dying, and the level of awareness of MAID is very high across the province.”
Think of Sue Rodriguez.
But perhaps there are avoidable reasons that life becomes intolerable. Dr. Helen Hays has been awarded the Alberta Order of Excellence and the Order of Canada for her pioneering work on palliative care. She contends that there is a severe imbalance in Palliative Care available to patients across the country, that resources are unevenly assigned. The system is fragile.
Perhaps if quality palliative care was available everywhere fewer would chose to give up their last days.
Join the Philosophers’ Café Wednesday, Jan. 9, 7-8 p.m. as Hays helps us explore the options facing a person with a life-threatening or life limiting condition.
Once a month, at Berwick By The Sea’s Tyee Lounge, a speaker will introduce a theme to the Café, and then all who attend can join in respectful, non-partisan conversation, or just sit back and listen. You are welcome to propose topics and introduce them at future Cafés. Themes should be of broad interest and national significance, and have an element of controversy to them.
As with each Café, Helen Hays will have just 10 minutes to introduce the topic, and then the floor is open for 50 minutes of moderated discussion.