Feed on

Report to the Final Exit Network Board by Brian Ruder, President

Mary Ewert and Brian Ruder were among 12 FEN members attending the 2022 World Federation of Right to Die Societies conference held in Toronto, Canada November 3-6th. There were 170 delegates. Following are some highlights from the meeting:

• The Canadian law is set to include mental illness next March. However, there was a
feeling that the date may not be met due to the difficulty of defining the assessment
process. It was also mentioned that the Canadian health system is very strained at this
time, which may impact the implementation and process.
• A presentation by the doctor who provided for the first person to die with dementia in
Canada noted she was under review for a year after the death, before she was
completely cleared, even though she had been very careful and followed the law
explicitly. Approximately 1% of the deaths in Canada within the law are due to
• In the Netherlands, there are several right-to-die-organizations, the largest of which has
about 174,000 members. The two oldest and largest organizations in Switzerland
combined (they accept Swiss citizens only) claim around the same number. These
organizations perform advocacy, support and education. And with these numbers, they
have a big influence. All have noted that there are right wing issues in their countries.
• In the Netherlands, 90% of the providers are GPs who have known the clients for some
time. In the Netherlands, over 4.5% of deaths are hastened and in Switzerland 1.8%. (In
Oregon, it is less than one half of one percent after 25 years.)
• The original Canadian law, C-14 was based on reasonably foreseeable natural death. It
was changed in 2021 (C-7) based on a challenge from the disability community. This
allows for support of patients with mental illness and mature young people.
• There are now two tracks for people who want to use the Canadian law. Track one for
those with reasonably foreseeable natural death and Track two for mental illness and
other conditions where reasonably foreseeable natural death does not apply. Criteria
for track two are not yet defined and will be much more time consuming and difficult to
• The Canadian law does not allow a doctor to discuss or recommend the law unless the
client brings it up first.
• In her Nov. 5 keynote address, Senator Pamela Wallin spoke of her ongoing effort to
include a dementia advance directive in Canadian law, which would allow patients to
consent in advance, prior to the loss of menta

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.