B.C. resident Gloria Taylor believes a person’s life is their own and it should be their choice as to how and when they die.
That’s why Taylor, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease, took her case for the right to die to the B.C. Supreme Court this year.
And when Judge Lynn Smith ruled in June that the laws banning doctor-assisted suicide were unconstitutional, it looked like Taylor had won.
But the federal government’s appeal of the decision leaves people wondering if anything has really changed since the Sue Rodriguez appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1993.
Wanda Morris, executive director of Dying with Dignity, discusses these legal challenges in a presentation and workshop at the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo on Oct. 14.
Morris, a Unitarian and former lay chaplain, will give a talk on Dying with Dignity as part of the 11 a.m. service held in the fellowship hall at 595 Townsite Rd.
Following the service, she leads a workshop from 1-3 p.m. looking at the Canadian experience and what has happened in jurisdictions that have legalized the right to die.
Morris said her work as a Unitarian lay chaplain was instrumental in guiding her to her current role.
“I saw firsthand the healing that was possible from meaningful memorial services,” she said. “This led me to further conversations about death and dying and ultimately my becoming a voice for improved quality of dying and end of life choices in Canada.”
Members of the public are welcome to attend the free event.
Dying with Dignity began more than 30 years ago at the First Unitarian Church of Toronto.