The Globe and Mail
Sean Fine, Elizabeth Church
A woman suffering from the paralyzing degenerative disease known as ALS has become the first to receive a judicially authorized assisted death in Canada.
The woman received permission from a Calgary judge in a hearing last week from which the media and other members of the public were barred. Known as Ms. S in a ruling made public this week, she then travelled to Vancouver where two physicians attended to her on private property.
Ellen Wiebe, a Vancouver physician, confirmed the death Monday night, saying she was with Ms. S. and pronounced her dead at 8:30.
Ms. S. “suffered unnecessarily because she was required to travel from Calgary to Vancouver on the last day of her life, since she could not find a Calgary physician to help her,” she said in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail.
Ms. S, a retired psychologist who loved hiking in the mountains, was diagnosed with the incurable disease in 2013 after developing a speech impediment, and was told last October that nothing more could be done to slow its progress. . . . [Full text]