Dying with assistance

Section: 
Letter

Dear Editor,

Kudos to Handbags for Hospice for raising $136,000 towards the Huron Shore Hospice which is soon to open. Palliative care is an “essential” service for many who wish the option for end of life care.  I did note a phrase in Kincardine’s The Independent: an article by Barb McKay describing the successful event which caused me concern. It reads as follows, “At present, our doctors have limited options for end-of-life care and have identified hospice as a definite gap in service for our community.”

My concern/fear, as it relates to end of life care, is that there is not an established protocol in Kincardine and area for those of us who wish a medically-assisted death.We tend not to make this decision until catastrophic illness has found us; it is then that we must consider the options available.Advance directives have yet to be considered and death must be eminent, but hopefully, these limited criteria will be expanded in time.

The silence from our local doctors around this issue speaks loudly to limitation. If we do have a protocol in place for assistance in dying, there are many of us who would very much like to hear that it exists. As an aging boomer who enjoys good health in the present, the reality that my health has a “Best Before Date” looms before me; I would appreciate knowing that there is another option besides palliative care when my personal demise arrives. Please let us know.

Is there a local doctor who can address this concern? Thank you.

Respectfully,

Catherine Hammill

Kincardine