The Brickendens are one of the few couples in Canada to receive a doctor-assisted death together, and the first to speak about it publicly.
They wanted to explain what it meant to them to die at a time and place of their choosing, as at least 2,149 Canadians and likely hundreds more have done since assisted dying became legal in this country.
The Brickendens are at the vanguard of patients and families who are creating new rituals around dying in Canada – the kind of rituals that are only possible when death comes at a previously appointed hour.
But cases like theirs also raise uncomfortable questions about whether the vague eligibility criteria in Canada’s assisted-dying law are sometimes being interpreted more broadly than the government intended.
One of the most controversial stipulations in the law is that a patient’s natural death must be “reasonably foreseeable,” – something that could plausibly be said of every nonagenarian. The law dictates other requirements, including intolerable suffering and irreversible decline, but those concepts can be elastic, too.
A Globe+Mail profile Story of the medically assisted suicide of a Couple Married 73 yrs https://t.co/OQAykxs9ZA #canada #death #law #lifethics #politics '1 of the most controversial stipulations in the law is that a patient’s natural death must be “reasonably foreseeable"'
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) April 5, 2018