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'Audrey's last wish' : Dying With Dignity Canada launches campaign to amend Canada's assisted dying rules

In a video recorded three days before she died, Audrey Parker says late-stage consent forced her 'to play a cruel game of chicken'

Dying With Dignity Canada has released a video message recorded by Audrey Parker just three days before she died.

It's part of a campaign launched this week calling on federal lawmakers to pass Audrey's Amendment to change Canada's medical assistance in dying (MAID) legislation.

The Halifax woman believed the current law is too restrictive due to a mandatory "late-stage consent."

It requires a patient to consent to end their life when making the request and again immediately before the medical procedure is performed.

Parker had Stage 4 breast cancer which had spread to the lining of her brain and she feared she wouldn't be able to give that final permission if her condition worsened.

The provision was intended to protect vulnerable people, however in the newly released video the 57-year-old says it forced her "to play a cruel game of chicken."

"I would like nothing more than to make it to Christmas, but if I become incompetent along the way, I will lose out on my choice of a peaceful, and best of all, pain-free death," she said in the message recorded in late October.

Parker died with medical assistance on November 1, which was earlier than she would have liked.

"No one should have to face a decision like this. People like me who have already been assessed and approved are dying earlier than necessary because of this poorly thought out law," said Parker. "I can assure you that no one chooses death lightly, we just don't want to suffer anymore."

In a news release, Parker's friend Kimberley King said, "Audrey's last wish was to be a spark for change."

"Her life was already cut short by cancer; the late-stage consent rule robbed us of even more precious time together," King said. "We want our government to trust their own process and rigorous screening already in place when a patient is assessed and approved for MAID."

The Dying With Dignity Canada is encouraging Canadians to sign an e-petition to send to Justice Minister David Lametti, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, and the Prime Minister's Office.


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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