Montreal, December 3, 2022 – Thanks to a story by reporter Penny Daflos (CTV Vancouver), we learned yesterday that Ms. Jennyfer Hatch had anonymously testified in June about her desire to live and the lack of access to appropriate care. Shortly thereafter, she made the choice to receive medical aid in dying (MAiD) on October 23, as reported in the Simons commercial, All is Beauty (removed Wednesday from the company’s YouTube page, as well as from its website).
“From a disability and financial perspective as well, I can’t afford the resources that would help improve my quality of life. Because of being locked in financially as well and geographically, it is far easier to let go than keep fighting.”
– Jennyfer Hatch, June 2022 (CTV report)
We invite you to read these three stories that deserve national attention:
The December 1 story follows Jennyfer’s Nov. 26 Celebration of Life, which was publicly broadcast on YouTube. Her friend Tama Recker shared with great emotion that Jennyfer had declared in June that she did not have access to proper care (from 23:48 to 25:24). She was living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.
Ms. Recker made it clear that her friend was at peace with her decision to choose the time and moment of her death. We regret, however, that even after her heartfelt cry last June, the lack of access to needed care might have led her to make this choice.
On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities, let us make sure that in Quebec and Canada everyone living with a disability is offered the care and support they need, rather than medical assistance in dying. We join with all disability groups who are still campaigning for the criterion of reasonably foreseeable death to be reinstated in the Canadian legislation governing MAiD. The testimonies heard during the last day of hearings of the federal committee (AMAD) that is studying potential expansions to medical assistance in dying are particularly compelling. On this December 3rd, we invite you to take the time to hear these voices closely associated with the disability community: Dr. Catherine Frazee, Professor Emerita, School of Disability Studies, Toronto Metropolitan University; Isabel Grant, Professor, Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia; and Ms. Megan Linton, Ph.D. Candidate (all three testimonies are available as of 08:54:40, official committee meeting page).
We again extend our condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Jennyfer Hatch. Our communication today is respectful of her desire that her story serve as a vehicle for others to have these difficult conversations.
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The Simons commercial (long version, 3 min.) is still available on this website.
Our article published November 3:
All is beauty – Deciphering the Simons commercial addressing medical aid in dying
Living with Dignity citizen network