Imagine your elderly parent has just made the decision to use medical assistance in dying (MAID) services. Your parent, who has a terminal diagnosis and is suffering and in pain, made this choice after careful consideration, medical guidance and a heartfelt talk with family.

Your family members, who are spread across Canada, decide to gather a few days before MAID is performed — to visit, share stories, laugh and cry together, and say goodbyes. You want to be by your parent’s side, holding their hand, when the procedure is performed. There are plans for a funeral service two days after the procedure.

You call your employer to alert them that you need five days off due to an imminent death in the family. “I’m sorry,” your employer says. “Our official policy allows only three days of bereavement leave, please let us know which three days you will be absent.”

Which event would you be willing to miss? The goodbyes? The medical procedure itself? The funeral? And how much will it cost you emotionally to make that choice?

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Iron Will

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