I am Wanda Morris, the Executive Director of Dying With Dignity, Canada's largest Right-to-Die organization. I believe that someone who is sick and dying must have the option to hasten her death with medical assistance. AMA!
I'm the Executive Director of Dying With Dignity, a registered health charity in Canada. Since 1982, Dying With Dignity has worked to expand end-of-life options and to help Canadians achieve quality in dying. You can learn more about our organization and its many programs right here.
In Canada, although it is legal to end your own life, it is illegal to help someone end her or his life. A person who is convicted of helping someone die can face up to fourteen years in prison. My organization believes that this is a moral tragedy. The current laws in Canada (and most other nations) rip families apart, leave countless people languishing in hopeless suffering that they would like to end, and strip those people of their freedom. If the laws were different -- if there were legal, well-regulated options for physician-assisted dying -- those same people could choose how and when to die, on their own terms.
Here are some links which will help to bring you up to speed on Dying With Dignity and the situation in Canada:
I recently wrote a column about Dr. Greg Robinson,a member of our Board, an HIV/AIDS activist, and someone who is intimately familiar with the importance of legalizing well-regulated physician-assisted dying.
On April 22, 2012, Nagui Morcos, a victim of Huntington's disease and a cherished member of our organization, hastened his own death. Before dying, Nagui expressed in his own words just how much he loved living and why he chose to take control of his death.
On April 25 of this year, Susan Griffiths died with the help of Dignitas in Zurich. Susan was one of our clients at Dying With Dignity. Susan was unsatisfied with the end-of-life options in Canada and chose to travel to Switzerland (where legal physician-assisted dying is available) in order to die on her own terms. You can read this article for more information about Susan's life, her death, and her struggles to change Canada's laws.
I hope that this gives you some insight into what motivates us and why we are fighting to change the law.
With all of that in mind, please AMA! I will begin answering questions at 2:00pm (Eastern).
EDIT (4:00pm Eastern) - This has been great. I'm going to take a break, but I will check back very soon!