Medical aid in dying: British Columbia woman sees no alternative – Reuters News in France and abroad

A British Columbia woman talks about her experience of accessing “death care” more easily than health care as federal policy makers consider expanding access to Medicaid for the dying (MA).

The chronically ill woman is in her late thirties and lives on the lower mainland, but due to the sensitivity of the topic, we were asked to refer to her as “Cat.” She applied to Fraser Health and got a maid – even though she wanted to live.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God, I feel like I’m falling through the cracks, so if I can’t get health care, can I get death care? “That’s what got me interested in MMA and I’ve advanced in the past year,” Kat said in an exclusive interview with CTV News.

She explained that while she was hoping for palliative care or other support in the process, “her suffering was validated to the point of being approved for MAID, but no additional resources were unlocked.”

Ten years ago, she was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a genetic condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough collagen, the glue that holds connective tissues, skin, and our bodies together. internal organs, sometimes causing complications and always causing severe pain.

As a result, Kat has been on opioids for years and says it kept her from finding a replacement for her family doctor who moved away years ago. She’s been visiting nurse practitioners for several years, as well as a revolving door for rheumatologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, and other medical professionals, none of whom are EDS experts.

“Our healthcare system is set up so that the patient really jumps around treating symptom after symptom and not really addressing the underlying collagen problem,” she said. “From a disability and financial standpoint as well, I can’t afford the resources that would help me improve my quality of life. Since we are financially and geographically trapped, it is much easier to give up than to keep fighting.

Fraser Health’s MAID documents include a summary that states that “the patient has a detailed medical history” and that “there were no other recommendations for treatment or interventions tailored to the patient’s needs or financial limitations.”

An ongoing national conversation

Kat’s disability and poverty are among the main concerns raised by advocates who have warned that Canada is going too fast in expanding access to MAID.

Initially, applicants had to suffer terminal illness in addition to physical suffering, but physical suffering is the only requirement now. Lawmakers are now hearing arguments from various groups about the next phase of the med program, which would allow mentally ill people to seek medical help upon death.

Two families in British Columbia have called for a more comprehensive review of the process and recognition of wrongful deaths to protect those most vulnerable.

“It is imperative that these preventative measures ensure that vulnerable people receive care first, not die,” said Alicia Duncan, whose mother’s death in Abbotsford is now the subject of a rare investigation, police.

I still hope though

Kat now suffers organ failure after complications from EDS and weighs just 89 pounds. Her body is fading and she concedes that she is unlikely to have a long life, but she still holds hope: that someone will agree to her request for palliative care, and health officials see how desperately she wants to be fully funded. Advice from a support or access to an EDS expert, even if outside Canada.

“If I could slip into an alternate world and get early intervention and proper treatment, say 10 years ago, I don’t think we would be here talking today,” he said. She said, noting the lack of EDS experience in British Columbia.

Fraser Health documents confirm that Kat has what she calls an “open invitation” to schedule her death at any time, but is focused on the upcoming summer months.

“It’s an interesting juxtaposition to feel so much in life as I tend to die and plan for both,” she said, moving her aching joints to a sun-drenched concrete garden bench surrounded by greenery. “I have created a bucket list trigger, which I slowly tend to because I want to finish as much as possible while I have the strength, expression, and clarity that I do now.”

#Medical #aid #dying #British #Columbia #woman #sees #alternative #Reuters #News #France

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.