For our November Salon, we were pleased to have Doug Thomas, President of The Society of Ontario Freethinkers (SOFREE), and Secular Connexion SÚculaire as our guest speaker.
Having accompanied his friend, Henry Rempel, to Switzerland so that Henry could complete his life with dignity, Doug has committed to promoting the legalizing of medically assisted suicide in Canada.
We invited the members of SOFREE to attend, and invited our members to bring guests. There was lots of mingling and conversation as we all got to know one another.
Many challenging ideas were introduced to us during the talk and powerpoint presentation.
Doug's personal annecdotal information relating to his recent experience with his friend and with the conduct of the Swiss process was passionate and fascinating.
Much of the information presented was new to most of us, and the audience was attentive.
Partway through the discussion period after the presentation, we discovered that one of the people in the audience was Norm Robertson, who is the Chair of the Grand River Chapter of Dying With Dignity (dyingwithdignity.ca). His comments shed light on the political implications and on some of the legal challenges involved.
Guest speaker, Doug Thomas, informed us of this video, which he made after speaking at the Salon:
Choosing to Die
Before his death in March 2015, as he was facing his own early-onset Alzheimer's disease, famed author, Sir Terry Pratchtt made a film called "Choosing to Die" about the topic of assisted suicide.
The full documentary is available for you to view. It will take an hour, but it will be an hour well spent. You will be more knowledgeable at the end about Dignitas and the option it offers.
Pratchett is on a genuine mission of inquiry, he's not preaching a position, nor does he end up with an opinion. Instead he takes a frank look at a subject most shy away from, and his only real conclusion is that we'd perhaps do well to think it through more than we do now.