Assisting in a suicide is illegal in Canada. Many people think this is wrong and that the law should be changed. They have bought into the idea that the only way for terminally ill patients to be freed of their suffering is to grant them their wish to have someone – most likely their doctor – help them commit suicide.
But the reality is very different. There have been many recent advances in palliative care that make it very possible for doctors to relieve suffering and allow the dying a peaceful, comfortable, truly dignified – natural – death.
Dr. Margaret Cottle is a noted expert on the subject. A resident of Vancouver, she is a palliative care physician and a clinical instructor at the University of British Columbia. She and her husband, ophthalmologist Dr. Robin Cottle, have two grown children and a black Labrador retriever. Ceilidh, as she is called, has her own hospital photo identification and visits patients and families on the Palliative Care Unit.
Download the full interview below