Quinn empathized with her mother, who feared both a rapid and slow decline. Eva was living in a care home in Victoria when she requested medical assistance in dying (MAID). At 100, she could see the writing on the wall, and she didn’t want to be bedridden.
“My brother thought he was going to be consulted,” says Quinn. “He was absolutely agog that this was something she could do individually.” Quinn kept telling her siblings, “This is not your decision; this is Mom’s decision… and she’s still of sound mind to make it.”
Even after her mother’s death, Quinn says her relationships with her siblings remained strained: “I didn’t speak to my sister for a year.”
Various polls indicate that Canadians generally view MAID favourably as a compassionate response to chronic, severe end-of-life pain, but the procedure can take on a very different meaning when it hits close to home. Little attention has been paid to the experiences of family and caregivers in the context of MAID — and how they might feel about a loved one’s choice to end his or her life.
Hospice work suffers from the same historical undervaluing that plagues all home health labor, which has long been low-paying, often non-unionized,...