A patient discusses her decision to seek Medical Assistance In Dying


Well, thank you very much for talking with
me today. Before we start, I would like to warn you
that the last two chemo I had badly affected my eyes. So it may look like I’m crying, but I’m
not necessarily. Can we actually start off by you just telling
me a little bit about yourself? Yeah, I’m 82 years old, and I was teaching
350 Symbolic Logic students at U of T as recently as last April. What is your personal situation? I’m unmarried. I was in the convent for many years, so that
when I came to do my PhD here. It was the time when the church was in great
upheaval. A lot of my friends from my group in the convent
were leaving. I realized that
I had a little different value than they did, so I left the order and devoted myself to
study and teaching, which proved to be… I taught till 82, so it proved to be a very
rewarding career. I’m in philosophy department with so we have
bioethics classes. So I knew my options right away. If I had a family member I would defer to
their wishes. I know sometimes it’s hard for a family to
let someone go, but I have no family at all. My parents died. I’m 82 and… So you feel as a personal decision It’s a personal decision. I hope you understand what I’m going to say. The options that are available don’t fit me. I could have long term palliative care, where
the end would be the same – I would die. I could have sedation and sleep, but the one
thing that I so value about MAID is I can leave with my cognitive faculties. And that matters a great deal to me. I find them slipping out. You know, my friend said, oh everyone forgets. But there are things I saw with much more
clarity, and so MAID seems the perfect option. I’m not depressed. I’m not anxious I feel lucky, Doctor. Your cognitive abilities might be one of the
things you value most about yourself. The part of me that I had spent most time
trying to develop is of course my mind. And it’s really…I want to say with full
consent. But you know, going into palliative care,
every morning little increments of my person are gone. I’ve been, I mean I won’t rattle off the
side effects, but, you know, things that are important for daily living, I can no longer
do. I can’t control my tears, you know. People walk in, and I think I know that person. But I… I’m losing it in small increment, and it seems
to me since the end is the same, you know, this is the perfect opportunity. When you look back, I have a sense of some
things you are proud of. Your work particularly stands out. Are there regrets? Yes, yes, there are. The last time my mother visited me in Toronto… I was a grad student. She would help me financially. I never got the opportunity. It was always there as a subtext that everything
I did. But I never got the opportunity to really
openly not just leave it as a tacitly understood thing – how deeply I appreciated her and that
was the last time I saw her. I have an impression that you’re somewhat
of a private, independent person. I am and
these six months were not just taxing on my friends, but on me. I had to ask for things. That was a new humbling experience, but it
made me really aware the human condition. We need each other badly. And, you know, asking was most difficult. How did the idea for MAID come out? When the law passed, I wasn’t ready. But I thought, I remember Dr. Lowe, remember
from the SARS condition. I remember
him saying they do it for animals, and not for humans. He made a tremendous contribution. I’m so honoured to think that one of the doctors
involved in giving MAID was a friend of his. Really, you know, he was a remarkable man. Did you have any reservations about MAID? No. What about the religious..? Oh well, you know, I’m not sure. I think I’m agnostic. It would be lovely if I could flutter around
and take care of my friends. But, you know, doing philosophy as I said,
current theories of mind and cognition are all materialistic. I think it’s probably the end of me, but how
many 82 year-olds had such a good life, doctor? You feel satisfied with your life? Absolutely, I feel fortunate. For someone else who is in your situation,
who hadn’t made such a decision, would you have any advice for them? Absolutely, absolutely not. I would absolutely not. I think it’s a highly personal choice, and
no, this is a professor who will give no advice on that at all. You know, I would let them talk, but I would… Each person’s situation is so different,
do you mean? I do, I (have) no family, no ties This is being contemplated, as I understand
in about 5 or 6 days or something like that? Yes, I believe it’s going to happen the day
after Thanksgiving. Do you have any wishes between now and then? Well, you know the doctors involved in it. said I can have any music I want, anything
I want, you know, what kind of clothes do I want to wear. It might be a reflection on my temperament. I want it as simple and as small possible,
so I’m going to have it, I hope they’ll lend me a hospital gown, and I’m going to
have that close network of friends. They will be here at the time? They will be here. I’ve invited my GP who has always
supported my decision to come to Princess Margaret, has carefully laid out my options,
and everything. Is there anything you want to mention to me
that we haven’t talked about, anything that might be important? I want to reiterate something. It’s really a pleasure to meet you, and I
am so lucky with the compassion and intelligence that I’ve met among the staff. I think it takes a special temperament to
deal with palliative care, and they’re all ages here. One of the volunteers who comes in to do grunt
jobs said to me her nine-year-old son died here and she wants to be here. You know some of these are young women who
could do anything. I think it takes a special temperament, and
I feel really privileged. It has been a privilege to talk to you actually. And to you and to finally meet you, doctor. Thank you so much for coming.

100 thoughts on “A patient discusses her decision to seek Medical Assistance In Dying

  1. I have to admit ,I was slightly confused when she said she was agnostic ,considering she has spent time in a convent ,really intrigued by these conflicting beliefs ,and why they changed !!!!

  2. We take this decision on the behalf of other species, the least we owe ourselves is the right to choose this on our own behalf.

  3. She doesn’t sound like an 82 years old woman and despite the physical chemo effect, she still look young for her age.

  4. I'm so sad watching this. I hope she gets what she wants. I pray she's in heaven. Resting .

  5. For someone who is dead scared of death and has lost a friend to cancer, this makes me sad and depressed.

    I am afraid of dying 😥
    Am I weird?

  6. All people should have the freedom to make the decision to end their life. It is the humane thing to do. Like she said, we do it for animals. If it can't be done medically for me, I will do it myself. It is my right!

  7. I find it so sad that a anyone within the ability to make choices with a full knowing mind should need to fight to choose a peaceful death over lingering suffering. This should be a freedom of choice between patient and Dr. It saves those desperate to avoid an agonizing life and death from attempting to end their own life and not being successful which can leave them suffering from worse health and then being unable to voice their wishes to die. I don't feel this should be voted on by a panel of people that know nothing of the person and only going by what a health record says. This should be a choice between the patient, their doctor and the family and one last decision by a director of the clinic this should be handled by. Having many people decide leaves more confusion, decisions based on their personal thoughts rather than the person suffering and wishing to end it. I hope to see laws changed to give this choice and comfort to those searching for an end.

  8. I just want to pass away peacefully and painlessly and naturally I hope. We don't decide when we are born and now we can decide when we die. Hmm. Sometimes we can't go on when were severely ill.

  9. How are people against this? I really want to know what the reasoning is for the other side of this debate

  10. She's still teaching others on her way out. What an incredible woman. May the Lord rest her beautiful soul 🙏

  11. She was a beautiful woman and a true treasure. I would loved to have sat through one of her classes. Even at 82 she was still teaching classes and sharp as a tack. May she Rest In Peace.

  12. I love this, sounds like she lived a meaningful life. I hope that everyone is offered the choice to end life on their own terms (if they so desire). That’s what I would want for myself anyway

  13. a prime example of a beautiful & intelligent woman! RIL Dear lady <3 you are an inspiration for strength & dignity!

  14. What a beautiful, intelligent, well educated, well traveled, soul. She speaks so eloquently. It’s clear that she lived her life with love and a thirst for knowledge. Disciplined enough to remain unmarried with no children for the sake of her dedication to the convent. She lived her life by her rules and she should be granted the ability to pass by her rules with her beautiful mind intact. My dear, you had a wonderful life, and the fact that you feel satisfied and with your 82 years is something we should all strive to honestly say. We all will have some regrets, it’s natural. Fly high, pretty girl 💕

  15. In her state it is a shame she should need to "require" assistance in dying and argue her case. She should be granted such assistance as a matter of course.

  16. So her cognitive ability is more important then her soul? Cognitive ability won't mean a thing when she meets her maker. Absolutely no one has the right to take their life or the lives of others except for God. Bible makes that crystal clear.

  17. What a gracious and forthright lady. She faced her final days with humility, gratitude and dignity…it is my hope I will be able to do the same.

  18. My Father in Law is dying of Lung cancer and he is 70. He should be able to die with ease. Why do we make humans suffer when we euthanize animals when they are suffering. If you have a Terminal illness then you should have the right to leave your body.

  19. to everyone reading this please turn to Jesus He loves you and wants to save you, only Jesus can truly heal, He is the God of miracles the bible tells us in Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved, I seen God do amazing things in my life and in the life's of people I know, there is nothing impossible to Him, its as simple as asking God if He is there and if you really want to know He will answer you, I know this because it happened to me

  20. She may no't see it but she has the opportunity to give her life to JESUS and go to heaven. Many people die instantly in an accident and don't have time repent of their sins and give their life to GOD

  21. Whats the name of the Doctor who kill her? If you can call him doctor more like a serial killer with liscence to kill

  22. Sometimes we are more compassionate towards our beloved pets..by putting them down when they are hopelessly I'll or injured.

  23. LiebE Conan 😍 ich danke Dir für Deine liebe Antwort! Leider bin ich technisch nicht so versiert-hätte Dir gerne eine persönliche Nachricht geschrieben. Habe Deine auf meiner E-Mail gehabt. Kannst du mir sagen, wie ich das auch schaffe? Habe mich total über Deine Zeilen gefreut, wünsche Dir einstweilen alles alles Liebe und mag deinen Kanal 👍🏼🍀❣️viele Videos habe ich auch schon früher angesehen und fand es interessant, dass Du offensichtlich ähnliche Themen auf YouTube guckst. Sei ♥️lich gegrüßt, Nina 🥰

  24. This lady very intelligent and her personal wishes should be respected.Her end was very near at this stage she was about to start the worse just waiting helping her at this stage under her control is paroment

  25. What an amazing woman. I wish I could have a long conversation with somebody like her. I appreciate having an interesting and intelligent conversation more than anything else. I'm so glad this beautiful lady was able to die on her terms. Why prolong suffering when death is imminent.

  26. God does not bless those who commit suicide. Trust in him and accept his will for us.. It's better to suffer in this life which is so short then to suffer the pains of hell for all internity.

  27. Why do others think they should be able to dictate to others that they need to suffer and be in pain and not have the choice to end their own lives if they want
    You can out your dog down but people have to suffer ,makes no sense

  28. To the woman in the hospital bed u never met me or a lot of other people we could of been there for u that is wrong what u r doing

  29. In 1.00 I can clearly hear that someone is in pain! dear God please help all your children and protect us,until we came in your laps…..🙏🏼🎀🔝💥🌺

  30. Awww she's such a kind soul.shes so lucky at being 82 and still have a very sharp mind and just grateful for everything.I understand and respect her decision may she rest in peace.

  31. I would've loved to have had the opportunity to meet with her just to talk about anything, any subject. She was a joy to hear her. She was so intelligent and seemed like a straight shooter. I love elderly people as they have so many memories to share. God bless 'em all.

  32. Can you imagine how painful it must be for your cancer to advance this far and not be able to feel relief absolutely heartbreaking nobody deserves to experience this.

  33. She was a nun & she's agnostic? I think she became a nun because she was gay….as many gay woman did in her day. What better socially acceptable way for them to live among all woman? When many of her "friends" were leaving the order is when they were coming out of the closet. She is interesting & optimistic to the end…..a loss for the world.

  34. Oh sweet woman, if only you knew how beautifully and wonderfully made you were. A masterpiece of the Most High God. That even in your old age your life could have been fruitful and beneficial, for edifying and giving hope.

    If anyone is considering this option, know that the Lord has plans to prosper you, not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. That your spirit being connected to God’s is a mighty and powerful force in this earth, though your body may be weak.

    “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.” Psalm 118:17

    “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
    ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
    ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.””
    ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭92:12-15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Grace and peace be unto you.

  35. She’s like a rainbow 🌈 sweet energy an spirit well spoken an at peace she is a bundle of joy is such a empowerment of Courage an wisdom God has his hands on her.

  36. I would be so fearful to go through euthanasia only because of my religious beliefs…but I believe it for others.

  37. I feel sorry for her..I know that’s not p.c. In today’s world to say… but I am
    If she wants to die then let her.
    She’s lived a long life and doesn’t want to go through the pain anymore poor lady.
    I’d like to hold her hand and tell her it’s ok as she slips away….someone to be there for her

  38. If an animal was this ill, we would show compassion and help them to pass on. Why are we so cruel to each other?

  39. Called it medical assistance, or other name ,, abortion,, , euthanasia.. all the laws of man. .. is oppose. To God laws
    God say your life is not your .s. to take ..of the life of others you cannot take … we belong to our creator..

  40. I can understand why she left the Order. The catholic church as most know it is dying. Traditional Catholics are alive and well. Too bad she didn't know about it.

  41. I could listen to her talk for ever. She is so graceful and very intelligent. She would be an incredible teacher to have!!! And a friend as well!!! Bless her.

  42. She still had such a young mind here. Extremely articulated and well versed. Someone whom I'd loved to have known.

  43. she is so AMAZING. when she first spoke verses her physical appearance WOWED me. her choice is clear. her cognitive faculty is so strong. GOD Bless her. i am grateful to have seen this review & to know that she exist.

  44. Poor lady I feel so bad for her 😢 her hands look so bad ,skin and bones ,just like my sweet sister when she passed with cancer 😖 rest in peace sweet lady

  45. I really don't know what I think of assisted death …I have not been in that kind of situation ( hope I never will) .. but something still nags at me to object with saying …only God tells you when it's time …it's sorta like murdering yourself! Idk….it's personal I guess….

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