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Sask. woman hopes medically assisted death will become option for more patients
Madina Azizi, CTV Regina
Published Wednesday, May 31, 2017 6:45PM CST
At first glance, Linda Pratt seems to be in perfect health, but in reality, she is living with a condition that has no cure.
"Largest ongoing impacts are imbalance and fatigue,” said Pratt.
“The only balance I have is through my vision, so if I close my eyes, I will fall over and some days, I stager about as if I hit the wine bottle too early in the day."
Pratt has multiple sclerosis. She says she's perfectly content with her life, but knows that, should her health deteriorate, she has options.
"It’s a consolation to me to have that as an option in the future if my MS symptoms grow to the point where I don’t have what I want to have, quality of life… It’s nice to know that that is an option,” Pratt said.
However, the option of doctor-assisted death is not an option that’s open to all. among other illnesses, individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia do not have a choice. Kevin Fenwick thinks that they should.
"If I knew that I had dementia and I knew that two years from now, I was going to be unable to make decisions on my own behalf, there’s a part of me that says ‘I would like to make those decisions now,’” said Fenwick.
The Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism is holding a two-day conference to educate the public about medically assisted death, with speakers touching on the legal, medical and religious aspects.
"It’s a very timely, current topic,” said the group’s president, Robert Wuschenny.
“People have heard about it, but don’t know the details, so we are looking at it from several different perspectives, so that we can give a broader picture of what it’s about."
As for Pratt, she is hopeful that the options available to her will be available to all.
"I would hope that, as time goes by, they will be able to add more of those diseases in when people get some experiences as to how to deal with some of it and see how it works. I'm hopeful for that in the future,” she said.
The conference continues Thursday with presentations from medical professionals and from people living with dementia.