Ending a life by giving it back

Ending a life by giving it back

It was about a month ago that the publicist got in touch to ask if I’d be interested in reviewing this book by Dr. Jean Marmoreo (and co-author Johanna Schneller) on the lessons learned from years of providing medical assistance in dying to Canadian patients. 

Oh hell yes.

I have written about MAiD in the last year and a half (see in particular this and this), mostly from the legal point of view, after spending I don’t know how long talking to experts in the field. I also have a few people in my life for whom this issue is, let’s just say, not at all theoretical. I care about it a lot. 

There is so much to learn about MAiD, including that it is nowhere near as “easy” to get as some people think it is. It is heavily regulated under the Criminal Code. As it should be. Taking a life should never feel normal. But under certain circumstances, it is the most loving, caring thing to do. 

I have no problem making MAiD available to people who qualify for it. Allowing someone to end their life on their own terms is what a compassionate, loving and caring society does. And you know what else such a society does? It stops being so callous about people who need assistance while they’re alive. Loving, caring societies look after those who are older, frail, ill or vulnerable. Decent, just societies don’t make anyone feel like a burden for receiving public assistance. 

It’s not the legal availability of MAiD that pushes people into ending their life. It’s our refusal to look after them properly. Maybe we fix that. 

My review of the book is here. Let me know what you think.