Saskatoon health care worker raises money for assisted dying facility
Published Thursday, September 12, 2019 7:36PM CST
A Saskatoon health care worker says he wants people to die with dignity.
Nursing home care aid Jae Blakely has started a fundraiser to set up a facility in Saskatoon that would specialize in medically assisted deaths.
Blakely said he has witnessed more than 100 deaths during his eight-year career, some of which have been medically assisted.
“There's not a lot of things worse than watching someone suffer a painful death, whether it’s a loved one, client or a friend, access to (Medical Assistance in Dying) is such a dignified solution.
“It makes things much more tolerable to people who are already in the throws of suffering.”
Blakely said it's the reason he is advocating for a Medically assisted dying facility in Saskatoon. It was an idea inspired idea by MAID House, a similar facility in Toronto expected to open next spring.
Between Nov. 1 2018 and the end of June 2019, the Saskatchewan Health Authority said there were 72 medically assisted deaths in Saskatchewan.
Blakely said the options are building a facility from scratch or renovating an existing structure.
A space dedicated to assisted dying can offer patients a level of comfort they may not feel in a hospital or at home , he said.
His fundraiser, named Cider House, is not yet registered as a charity, however Blakely is trying to jump start the project through online donations.
Dying with Dignity Canada, a national non-profit, said these kinds of facilities are needed in cities across Canada.
“There's a need for a service like this for a space like this, for people who don't want to access MAID at home or hospital facility, but it doesn't free publicly funded institutions of their responsibility to people, to allow them to access their rights to care on site,” spokesperson Cory Ruf said.