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What is Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) in Practice?

Have you ever pondered medically-assisted dying? Moreover, have you ever wondered the perspectives of professionals who are immersed in this sensitive and ethically-charged topic? If this is of something of interest to you, keep reading. There is an event all about this coming up this week!

Dying with Dignity Canada, uOttawa Chapter is a group of students working with the Dying with Dignity Canada (DWDC), which is a small non-profit organization that advocates voices for expanded end-of-life choices to avoid unwanted suffering. They are also highly involved in educating medical assistance in dying (MAID) and advance care planning.

An event being held this Wednesday will include a panel event with discussants on the topic of MAID and the application of it in Canada. The five panelists have a range of practical experience. Here is a little bit more about them:


Lauren Clark, MSW, RSW

Lauren Clark is a Social Worker at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) who currently holds a position in the Medicine Department at the Civic Campus and has been an active member of the MAID team at TOH since its inception in 2016. Lauren is also on the Board of Directors for Bridge C-14


Dr. Alan Karovitch

Dr. Alan Karovitch is a General Internist at TOH and at the University of Ottawa. His specialty interests include Obstetric Medicine and Thrombosis. He has been a key member of the TOH MAID group since its inception in 2016.


Daphne Gilbert

Daphne Gilbert is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. She teaches Constitutional Law and one of the focuses of her current academic work is MAID. She is particularly interested in how to balance the rights of vulnerable peoples with the conscience and religious rights of physicians and corresponding institutions. She currently sits on the Legal Advisory Committee for Dying with Dignity Canada.


Jennifer Turner

Jennifer Turner holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Psychotherapist (CRPO). Jennifer has facilitated numerous support and education programs and she is passionately committed to working with cancer patients and their loved ones, to help nourish dignity and meaning in the face of uncertainty at all stages of life. This includes supporting people to help them feel cared for while they prepare for their deaths. Jennifer works at the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre and Glebe Health House.


Jan Ditchfield

Jan Ditchfield is the current Executive Director of Bridge C-14, a non-profit organization that provides compassionate support to families throughout their journey with MAID. As an award-winning Disability and Human Rights Advocate, she has been honoured for her work as a Rick Hansen Difference medalist, as well as the Celebration of People Awards, and was named one of the top Amazing People in Canada’s National Capital Region. Her work has been featured in a breath of publications such as The National Post, The Globe & Mail and The New York Times.

Motivated by a deeply personal and heartbreaking journey with a loved one seeking medically-assisted death, Jan founded Bridge C-14 in 2017 and she is driven by passion to change the landscape of compassion in our country.


To hear the more about these speakers’ unprecedented experience and advocacy involvement, join us at the event. The event will be taking place this Wednesday, March 28 from 5:30pm-7:30pm in CRX C408. Also don’t forget, there will be free pizza!

See you there! 


Sources: Cover

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