Scott Thompson: In death, Audrey Parker issues a challenge to Canadian leaders

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.

A new public relations campaign has been launched in the memory of Audrey Parker of Halifax.

Parker had planned for medical assistance in dying (MAID) and was fully accepted for the process.

READ MORE: Halifax’s Audrey Parker – who pushed for assisted dying changes – dies

She had been diagnosed with stage four terminal breast cancer, which had spread and would lead to an agonizing death.

That’s not what she wanted.

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Her close friend, Kimberly King, said on 900 CHML that Parker felt her last breath should be as important as her first.

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After meeting the criteria for MAID, however, she soon realized she would have to be of sound mind in order to give consent at the final moment.

Anyone who has watched a cancer patient die knows, that’s near impossible during the final stages of life, when most are medicated over the moon just to be comfortable.

Fearing her final wish and right wouldn’t be granted, Parker had to end her life early, before last Christmas, to avoid slipping into unconsciousness.

READ MORE: Halifax woman’s fight to change Canada’s assisted-dying law continues after her death

What’s the sense in having the right to die due to painful terminal illness, only for the government to decide when you have to do it — and it’s earlier than you want?

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Parker requested Dying with Dignity Canada take her concerns to politicians as an example of what needs to be fixed, in the hope that no one would have to make the same cruel decision she did.

We’ll see which leaders have the courage to take up her cause.

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

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