Voluntary assisted dying laws around the world are providing a compassionate choice to enable some people to end their suffering through a much better death than would otherwise be available to them. These are some recent examples – one from California where legislation was passed in 2015, and another from Canada where national legislation was passed in 2016.
In early July, Betsy Davis emailed her closest friends and relatives to invite them to a two-day party, telling them: “These circumstances are unlike any party you have attended before, requiring emotional stamina, centeredness and openness.”
And just one rule: No crying in front of her.
The 41-year-old artist with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, held the gathering to say goodbye before becoming one of the first Californians to take a lethal dose of drugs under the state’s new doctor-assisted suicide law for the terminally ill.
Noreen Campbell knew it would be Thursday and it was.
On Monday, she walked from her kitchen into her sun room, which looks onto a rural North Saanich property.
“I’ll go in here,” she said, sitting down in an overstuffed, beige leather chair. Her daughters, Mary and Jane, would be at either side, she said, and her husband, Cliff, would be there, too.