Medically assisted death allows couple married almost 73 years to die together

By April 5, 2018 Recent News

The Globe and Mail 1 April 2018
Family First Comment: Canada is the Niagara Falls of euthanasia! Very disturbing.

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.

On March 27, George and Shirley died holding hands in their own bed in a Toronto retirement home.

Their children, who watched from the foot of the bed, say the couple drew their last breaths at almost the same moment.

Mrs. Brickenden’s body was wracked by rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory condition that turned her hands into swollen purple claws.

Her heart was failing. She nearly died during an operation after she suffered a heart attack in 2016.

That was enough for two doctors – as required by the law – to conclude in early 2017 that Mrs. Brickenden was eligible for an assisted death.

Around the same time, two different physicians assessed Mr. Brickenden. The first felt that Mr. Brickenden’s advanced age and frailty made him a candidate for an assisted death, but the second disagreed because Mr. Brickenden did not have a specific underlying illness that made his death reasonably foreseeable, the standard set out in the legislation.

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