Scott Thompson: Government says you can die, but they also say when

Audrey Parker, diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer which had metastasized to her bones and has a tumour on her brain, talks about life and death at her home in Halifax on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. Parker, who is terminally ill and plans to end her life Thursday with medical assistance, says she has embraced her fate, sought the comfort of friends and wasted no time feeling sorry for herself in the two years since her diagnosis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan.

You may have heard the story of Audrey Parker from Halifax.

The outgoing 57-year-old was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2016 and vowed to live out the rest of life on her own terms, and end it the same way.

For her, that meant ending her life when she felt she had enough of her terminal illness and the constant agonizing pain she lived with every minute.

Parker knew as her condition worsened she would slowly lose control of her mind and body as doctors’ only means of keeping her comfortable was with powerful drugs.

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That is not how she wanted to die.

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Audrey jumped through all the hoops to get approved for a medically assisted death and was granted the right to end her life.

However, the law says you have to be conscious and mentally sound at the moment of final consent for a lethal injection.

Those of us who have experienced family members at this stage are fully aware that is nearly impossible after cancer has ravaged the over-medicated body.

“Right now, dying people are ending their lives earlier than they would like, or they are refusing adequate pain care, out of fear that they will lose out on their right to a peaceful death,” said Shanaaz Gokool of Dying With Dignity.

Audrey wanted to live until Christmas, but under the current rules, chose to take her life Thursday.

What is the sense of giving those living with a terminal illness the right to die, and not allowing them to pick when?

No wonder people are cynical of government.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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