Panel discussion on medical assistance in dying will describe a personal story and discuss its implications in Canada
March 23, 2023 – Thunder Bay, Ont.
The host of a new podcast about medical assistance in dying is participating in a panel discussion with an author who experienced it first-hand, on Wednesday, March 29 at 7 pm at Goods and Co.
Dr. Kathy Kortes-Miller will join Loved into Being author Jill Bodak and Dr. Kat Ward, a local physician, to discuss Jill’s book, which follows her and her father through his three years of living post-stroke and subsequent death using MAiD.
“Join us to celebrate this incredible story and have a local discussion about a national issue – Medical Assistance in Dying and its precursors, aging, illness, caregiving and grief,” said Dr. Kortes-Miller, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and Director of the Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health at Lakehead University.
This story is a portrait of a person who is fighting to recover enough of himself to end his life on his own terms. On December 6, 2022, Bill Bodak exercised his right to access Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), at home, surrounded by family.
The night before his death, hundreds of friends, former students and family members gathered outside his home to light candles and wish him safe passage.
Since his death, this story has reached hundreds of readers, been featured on CBC's Superior Morning Show, and in a collection of podcasts, including Thunder Bay's Disrupting Death with Dr. Kortes-Miller.
This evening Dr. Kortes-Miller, Jill, and Dr. Ward will gather to discuss this particular story, and the implications it has for the larger discussions happening across Canada about caregiving, end-of-life choices, and how to embrace death as a triumph when we can, instead of a failure. Cathy Alex will be the MC for the evening.
“If you've read the book, come chat about it and why it spoke to you. If you haven't read the book, come get one and join in this heartfelt and deeply needed conversation,” Dr. Kortes-Miller said.
The evening will include warm company, good conversation, a chance to ask questions, and also to buy the book. All proceeds from this project will be donated to Dying with Dignity Canada in memory of Bill Bodak.
Hosted by Dr. Kortes-Miller and Keri-Lyn Durant, a PhD candidate at Lakehead University, Disrupting Death first hit the airwaves on Feb. 17 when they spoke with Sandra Martin, journalist and author of A Good Death: Making the Most of Our Final Choices.
The second episode, with Jill, aired earlier this month.
They started the podcast as part of the integrated knowledge translation for the five-year SSHRC Insight Grant their research team is working on.
“Our goal is to provide people with access to some of the conversations we as researchers and academics have access to – to learn more about medical assistance in dying,” Dr. Kortes-Miller said.
“There's lots of misinformation about MAiD out there and people have lots of questions. We think a podcast is an accessible way for people to learn more about this important, new option for Canadians.”
Dr. Kortes-Miller said people are uncomfortable discussing death simply because they don’t do it very often.
“We don't have enough opportunity to access safe spaces where we can have these essential conversations. We are hopeful that our podcast, and the event at Goods and Co. will provide people with a platform to learn more about the importance of having these conversations with those who matter to them,” she said.
For more information on the podcast visit disruptingdeath.ca/episodes.
To buy Jill’s book, visit Entershine or Amazon or come to Goods and Co. on Wednesday, March 29 at 7 pm.
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Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2023 World Universities Rankings for the fourth consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE’s 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.