Good words! This was set up as a webinar for our local chapter of the Alzheimers Society (ASLM). It is designed to help people with dementia and their respective caregivers to better prepare for their coming years.
It details major considerations and takes people through three major stages: Get Real – Get Ready – Get a Plan. Sometimes amusing but always definitive, it’s proving to be a good resource for the best use of the remaining years.
Ever wonder .. do I have dementia? Does your family wonder or are you concerned about a friend?
Common questions and they all need an answer. This presentation was established for a Senior Women’s Probus Club in London. Almost 100 attended and almost all reported that they had some answers and knew where to go for help. Try it out. I designed it to educate but also to show that people with dementia can live better in a dementia-friendly community.
Good question … in February the Minister of Justice drafted Bill – C7, took it through the House of Commons, sent it to the Senate and announced he was hoping to clear it through the Legislative Assembly by June in order to meet the demands of the Quebec Superior Court.
And then nothing (presumably due to the COVID pandemic) … until two weeks ago when the Minister advised the press (Parliament isn’t working), that he had requested a five-month extension of terms from the Quebec Court.
Well, in mid-May, I made a Zoom presentation to a Senior Men’s Probus Club in Mississauga. Given the current hiatus, the club wanted to know where we’re at with MAID. You may be interested, too.
We haven’t communicated directly for some time, so I thought I’d try to bring you up to date. You know I’m most interested in meeting with Minister Lametti and his panel for the scheduled review of MAID legislation. On March 5, I was honoured to be part of a CBC TV National review panel on MAID in company with David Lametti et al. About eight persons representing various needs for MAID were also present. Susan Desjardin of the DWDC Board very ably assisted Lametti in questioning and responding to the panel. It took a whole hour, and I was pleased. Each panellist was able to present at least one concern to Lametti.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has intervened. The show was planned for broadcast on March 11 when Lametti and the government were expected to respond to the Superior Court of Quebec. Well, Lametti got a four-month extension, and the pandemic happened. Our panel review has been postponed indefinitely. I’ll advise when I know more.
Since we have to wait for governmental attention to return to MAID, I wrote the following plea to itemize the issues which I’d like to discuss with the planned and scheduled Review of MAID in June.
I’m not sending this to the media or Lametti yet. We need to get the door open again, but the world will move on. When I have the right moment, I’ll send it. However, if anything in my plea can serve you in any way, please go ahead and use it. And I’ll be glad to talk/email with anyone.
Attachments: In PDF and Word (docx) formats. Choose which works better for you.
This week I spoke with the local ladies’ Probus Club about dementia My emphasis was on ‘opening the door’ by eliminating fear and prejudice. By all reports, I succeeded: the ladies want a better, dementia-friendly community. They now know how. They said ‘so.’ Try it on…
From deep in the heart of Mexico comes an American voice (Loretta Downs) speaking of “How To Die When You’re Ready.” Loretta is sincere, personable and extremely well-informed. She knows more about MAID than most Canadians – right up to the recent survey on the subject by the Federal Government. Enjoy her video below
Not only will you gain perspective, but you may also find it useful in engaging others “in the conversation.” I’ve already had people tell me they’re sharing it with ‘dad’ or ‘mom’ or their siblings.
On January 13, the Minister of Justice, David Lametti announced the beginning of a review to revise MAID. It’s really in two parts – the first is a questionnaire to be included with the study of the Should be Should be Quebec Superior Court’s Ruling (Gladu and Truchon – September 2019). The Prime Minister has already announced the Federal Government will not appeal the Quebec Court’s decision and will look at ways to remove ‘other restrictions.’ The second part will begin in June and anything can happen. The study will encompass the Canadian College of Academies(CCA) report of last December. CCA had been commissioned to present problems(no suggestions nor solutions) respecting MAID’s exclusion of minors(under 18), those with mental health problems, and people with dementia.
I don’t expect a quick review (I may not live long enough). As you might expect, I have prepared my recommendations based upon the need for MAID to be simpler, more caring, and administered with the dignity and privacy it deserves. My submission follows.
So many things coming together at the same time and we seemingly have the right politicians coming to the field at the right time to provide leadership (now that’s a world of wonder). We have the Truchon & Gladu case from Quebec and the wonderful promise of the Prime Minister “to not appeal .. and study the legislation to remove other restrictive practices.”
Obviously, we have a way to go .. but you and I can play a role in this evolution of Canadian medical history. Here’s what I wrote .. and I’m going to write more to every MP and MPP for whom I can find an email address. Please join in and help “kick the ball” down the field. The goal posts are wide open.
Wow! Everything’s happening now. Two great news stories: Kelly Grant in the Globe and Mail, Alisa Siegel(Michael Enright, CBC Sunday Morning), and Catherine Ford of the Calgary Herald – just this month.
RE: RESPONSE TO MS BRIESE RE MAID FOR ALZHEIMER PATIENTS
Dear Professor Lemmens:
Please feel free to share any or all aspects of this response with whomever you deem appropriate.
I appreciate your willingness to share your remarks to Jule Briese regarding MAID for Alzheimer’s patients with me for purposes of sharing discussion. Having been similarly employed as a professor, I can respect the limitations of your time and will understand if you cannot become engaged in some lengthy analysis. Jule and I simply want you to be aware of our thoughts and feelings respecting the limitations of MAID as it is currently legislated and practised.
While MAID is not to be regarded as obligatory .. it is a personal, informed choice and considered as a part of Advanced Care Planning. Persons with dementia can say either “no” or “yes,” but they should be informed and counselled about all their choices with respect to the provisions of care – both living and palliative.
I am elated! It provides for everything we need: support for information about MAID; counselling support for those considering a choice for MAID; and acknowledgement of the shortfalls of the current legislation and the need for support for Advanced Requests (ARs).
We have a way to go, but this new ASC position clears the way for advocates for better legislation and professional practices.
Thank you to the ASC Board, Pauline and all the others who contributed to this new enlightened position.
Really good news, the Alzheimer’s Society for Canada(ASC) is revising its policy regarding MAID. Pending ratification by the Board of Directors in September, the ASC will post its new policy on their website. Now we can move forward with programmes that truly provide a “Beacon of Hope” for many people living with dementia. And now, more importantly, we can actively support Dying With Dignity Canada(DWDC) in its attempts to rectify the shortfalls of MAID. See the ASC’s stated intention as of August 1, 2019.
Public Education Coordinator Susan Oster and Ron Posno, who was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, tell London Morning about a series of workshops aimed at dissolving the stigma around dementia.
Just this month (May 3), Maclean’s magazine posted a story on MAID by Shannon Proudfoot – a frequent contributor of articles featuring common problems of MAID and people with dementia. You can check some of the current issues right here.
Dementia Connections – is a wonderful magazine supporting active lives for people with dementia living in the community. Their Spring edition featured an article about Death and Decisions facing people with dementia. You may read it here.
People living with dementia are currently being denied their “Rights” as Canadians by not allowing access to MAID. Here’s a story about Gus who died without the hope and chances MAID could have provided.
Gus is not alone. There are many people with dementia who could possibly benefit from having the opportunity to choose MAID. They don’t have to choose – that’s very much a personal decision – but for many, MAID will provide a beacon of hope and the security of mind that comes from not having to endure the typical end-of-life issues that come with dementia.
Here we go again .. Glenda Bartosh, a strong supporter of the needs of people with dementia, just had her article published in the Vancouver Sun. I hope the Alzheimer Society for Canada is watching. David Lametti is in for a big one.
People with dementia want access to MAID.
Check Glenda’s story .. Bartosh: Assisted-dying law needs to change to allow advance directives | Vancouver Sun
Here on the 25thanniversary of the death of Sue Rodrigues and just past the hallmark death of Audrey Parker, we sit with MAID – which in spite of the Supreme Court’s direction(Carter, 2015) – was deliberately designed to deny Canadian Rights for people with dementia. And to the bitter irony of all that has transpired to date, neither Sue Rodrigues nor Lee Carter would qualify for MAID today.
Svend Robinson ably supported Sue throughout her ordeal and reminds us all of her struggles in an article published in the Globe and Mail on 9 February, 2019.
Dying with Dignity Leadership Renews Appeal for MAID
Dying With Dignity Canada(DWDC) as also renewed its appeal for MAID revision based upon the sacrifices of Audrey Parker. Carefully read Dr. David Amies blog from the DWDC website. He’s very clear and definitive: MAID must be changed. And then, sign the petition. Remember Dana Livingstone’s petition from BC (on this website). She collected more than 2600 signees from across Canada. Just think what could happen when both petitions get the Ministers of Justice and Health.
Sandra Martin has written extensively on the subject. Three years ago, she penned an extensive referral base entitled “A Good Death” and in January she contributed the following column to the Globe and Mail.
Shannon Proudfoot came to my attention with a wonderful story about “Jo” published in Maclean’s (Sept. 18/2018). In addition to “Jo,” she embedded several reference to previous works. All are excellent and do much to inform and encourage us all to search and to create solutions for the many of us afflicted with dementia. Try this: