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Visionary Conversation: Should we have the right to die?

April 30, 2014 — 

inpatient bed in hospitalCanadians are currently debating the concept of the “right to die” and euthanasia. Where the Charter of Rights and Freedoms stands on physician assisted death will soon be considered by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Join us for a discussion at the April 30 Visionary Conversations where experts will explore and debate this polarizing topic, highlighting both the legal and ethical arguments.



Professor Arthur Shafer

I will offer a wide-angle perspective on the euthanasia debate in Canada, past and present. Key ethical arguments and values invoked by both sides will be evaluated.  I’ll show both from where we’ve come and where we’re heading.

Professor Mary Shariff

Using examples from other jurisdictions that have passed laws permitting assisted death, I will describe how the concept of “right to die” has been legally constructed thus far and explain how recent Canadian initiatives compare. This will include consideration of  the relevance of access to palliative care. I will also discuss the different assisted death models from the perspective of the slippery slope.

Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov

I plan to talk about objective evidence regarding what influences a person’s desire for death towards the end of life. Understanding these factors has implications, not only for the narrower issue of euthanasia and assisted suicide, but for the much broader and critical issue of how to provide optimal care for dying patients and their families.

What: Visionary Conversations
When: Wednesday April 30, 2014,
Reception: 6:30 – 7 p.m.
Panel discussion: 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Robert B. Schultz Theatre, 92 Dysart Road, St. John’s College, Fort Garry Campus
(Please see the Fort Garry Campus Parking map for directions on where to park)

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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