Lives in the Balance

This is an INCOMPLETE list of people whose stories have been covered in mainstream media. Please let us know if you have updates on any of these individuals, and if you know of others who could or should be included here. We are not seeking to “break news” in any case. If individuals want to share their stories on our pages, they should contact us directly to work out the details.

[Cases marked with a double asterisk ** are repeated (with permission) from the Cases of Concern document researched and compiled on behalf of the Disability Coalition as part of their ongoing legal advocacy for radical MAID reform.]


Melissa Ellsworth

Ellsworth, who has been fighting for more than a decade for benefits from Nova Scotia’s Workers’ Compensation Board, says she can’t wait any longer for pain relief and has applied for medical assistance in dying.

Ellsworth says, “I can’t live with this type of pain and I’m disintegrating to nothing, and the options that I have for quality of life are there, but workers’ comp is refusing to provide them, so I have no option really but to apply for MAID.”

The CBC reports that Nova Scotia’s Workers Comp system is overdue for review, but meanwhile, case workers’ “deny” decisions are overturned 56% of the time. Ellsworth has gone through 11 appeals, and won 10 of them. But problems with service delivery remain.

This is another case of “The system is broken; let’s give the patients an easy option.” This is not okay.



Kathrin Mentler

“I very specifically went there [Vancouver General Hospital] that day because I didn’t want to get into a situation where I would think about taking an overdose of medication,” Ms. Mentler, a first-year counselling student, told The Globe and Mail in an interview. Instead, Ms. Mentler says, a clinician told her there would be long waits to see a psychiatrist and that the health care system is “broken.” That was followed by a jarring question: “Have you considered MAID?”

Vancouver Coastal Health, which operates the hospital, confirmed that the discussion took place but said the topic of MAID was brought up “to gauge Ms. Mentler’s risk of suicidality.” But no, wait a minute. Assessment questions are things like, “Do you have a plan? How long have you been thinking about suicide? Who can you call on when you start having thoughts like these?” That sort of thing. Not “Maybe you should consider getting help with suicide, because the system that’s supposed to help you stay alive is “broken”.

“The more I think about it,” says Ms. Mentler, “I think it brings up more and more ethical and moral questions around it.” We agree.


See also:


Rose Finlay

“I’m a quadriplegic single mom raising two young kids with disabilities. I became disabled in a pool accident at the age of 17. My youngest son has type one diabetes and my other son has ADHD.”

GoFundMe Update: August 12/23
Thank you so much to everyone that has shown love and support for my children and I. While I have now completed the waiting period required for MAiD, I still find myself in the exact same situation – at risk, without care and stuck in a community that lacks resources. With your help, I have raised a considerable amount of money but still I find myself struggling to secure a place for my kids and I in the city – where we access to the support and services that we need. I’m so drained and feeling defeated. What has become of this province and why aren’t our elected officials doing more to help? 
I’m not sure what the next steps are, or how I navigate the challenge of finding somewhere to live. In the interim, my life is still at risk, my children are feeling the impact of this and we are now living off the money we’ve raised to move. Time is of the essence. Please keep us in your prayers.


Ontario quadriplegic mother applies for MAID over lack of access to disability supports


Cheryl Romaire

Cheryl Romaire testified before Parliament in June, 2022, about her application for MAiD as a solution to unremitting pain caused by autoimmune disorders of the spine. She was denied on her first application, then approved on her second, after the law changed and her condition was no longer required to be terminal. What was notable about her testimony was another denial. After being approved for MAiD, she asked for palliative care but was denied because her condition was not terminal. This is twisted in the extreme. If a condition is serious enough to merit medical termination of life, surely it is serious enough to merit extraordinary efforts to relieve problematic symptoms.


Mitchell Tremblay

Posted on YouTube in late 2022.

Mitchell’s story is one of abuse, neglect, poverty and mental illness. The things that happened to him were not his fault — he was an innocent child. Why should he be punished? Why should he be put to death by the medical establishment acting as agents of the state? Death is not the right answer — even if he feels or believes that it is — and until March, 2024, it remains illegal; kindness, support, compassion and decent, affordable housing would be much better solutions.


Michal Kaliszan

Michal has recently lost both of his devoted parents to cancer, first his dad, now his mom. Temporary arrangements were made for his care while his mother was ill, but those arrangements are now coming to an end, and Michal is faced with the horrific prospect of having to move out of his house and into a long-term care facility where he will realistically get only 2 hours of care daily — which anyone knows is not nearly enough. Yes, those places are “staffed” 24/7, but individual care time is tightly rationed.

Visit his GoFundMe page to learn more about his story and to make a donation.



March 24/23 Update

Things have moved forward in an unexpected way. Pressure to leave the hospital as well as not 
meeting my gofund goal have prevented me from finding a small house and I will be moving into an apartment April 1st. Time will tell if I can tolerate apartment living as I will have no control over my neighbors lifestyle choices. 
I continue to be in need of financial support.
Thank you to all the supporters who gave generously and shared. 
My appreciation is heartfelt!

Susy is a senior in dire circumstances, & needs our help to avoid #MAiD.
Living in medically unsafe housing with disabling MCS/ES is torture.
She needs funding to afford rent for a safe enough place to live in BC.

Please read, share, donate what you can…

SOURCE: A friend/community leader with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities)
Her GoFundMe campaign:


Tyler Dunlop, a 37-year-old able-bodied white man poses in front of a snowy landscape.

Tyler Dunlop

Are a patient’s homelessness, hopelessness and bleak outlook on the future acceptable reasons to allow a doctor or nurse practitioner legal immunity for helping that patient to complete suicide? Or is this an opportunity for compassionate suicide prevention?

“Tyler Dunlop, 37, has experienced homelessness on and off for the past 12 years. With a background of traumatic experiences, and a bleak outlook on the future — not only considering himself, but the state of society — Dunlop has begun the process for medically assisted death.” 

“He recently began a job at a fast food restaurant in the city, but he said he’s been unable to keep his job due to a lack of stable housing.

Dunlop was born to a dysfunctional family, and experienced physical and sexual abuse in the foster care system as a child. He has previously attempted suicide, and both of his parents have now passed away. He lives with schizoaffective disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his trauma, and he has long used alcohol as a means to cope. However, he has lived and worked his way across Canada, from Vancouver to Halifax, and says he has always accepted responsibility for his situation and sought to contribute to the world around him.”

Dunlop himself would advocate for a Scandinavian-style “housing-first” policy for people experiencing homelessness. He has not yet been approved for MAID. And yet the lure of its very existence enters his troubled mind as a “logical” solution in a country that refuses to offer disadvantaged people more opportunity to advance in society.

SOURCE: January 23, 2023 ( Homeless, hopeless Orillia man to seek medically assisted death


Joannie Cowie

“If you call the number on the government website, they will provide doctors that will sign off for you,” says the 52-year-old resident of Windsor, Ont.

“They can have me dead in 90 days. That’s what I was told.” Cowie certainly meets the medical criteria.

“I have severe, severe asthma. And that’s turned into COPD, and Guillain-Barré syndrome as well as cancer. And I also just recently fractured my back,” she says. “I’m tired a lot. The pain is excruciating.”

“I have my criminology degree. I also have a couple of college degrees, and I taught at a local college here,” she says. Today, Cowie is unable to work, and has no family support. She lives with her daughter, a university student who is also disabled. Together, they must find a way to scrape by on $1,228 from Ontario’s disability support program, and a few hundred more for her daughter. It isn’t nearly enough.

“We have about $59 left to buy groceries in a month because our home, we have to have housing insurance. Rent. Hydro is high. Gas is high,” she says. “We just put it together and pay the bills and hope that we can make it every month.”



Jacquie Holyoak

Jacquie Holyoak is considering accessing medical assistance in dying (MAID) due to the debilitating pain of living with fibromyalgia. But she says it’s a choice she might not even contemplate if her disability benefits didn’t leave her struggling to make ends meet.

“I’m just really exhausted … I need someone to help me, and I’ve been asking everywhere. And unless you have money, you’re just not going to get the help,” said Holyoak, who lives in Fergus, Ont.

The former medical assistant is on the Ontario Disability Support Program [ODSP], but says it’s not enough to live off.

“If I wasn’t on ODSP, would I be seeking MAID? I don’t know that answer, but I’m leaning towards no, because my quality of life would be so much better,” she told The Current’s Matt Galloway.

“I’m just sitting here wanting to live, but not knowing how. And seeking help to die, but not knowing if I’m even going to be eligible for that. So I’m very overwhelmed,’ she said. 

Despite everything, she does “flop back and forth” on the decision to access MAID.

“I have children. I have a new grandchild. Do I want to actually die? Of course not,” she said.



Serena Bains

Serena, a 24-year-old who lives in Surrey, B.C., has severe depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder. She was hospitalized once when she told a doctor she was planning her suicide.

Her worry is that if she spirals downward and hits a rough patch she might be suicidal enough to ask for MAiD and qualify. “A lot of the conditions I have … they’re perceived as being severe. They’ve been consistent. I’ve had them since I was a teenager,” she says.


Les Landry



Kim, and countless other social assistance recipients **

A dark-haired young woman looks into the camera.

Kim has significant disabilities and lives in a rented 300 square-foot RV in Ontario. She has received notice of eviction. She relies upon ODSP payments for the necessities of her life.

In a recent investigation of how Covid 19 affects people with disabilities, Kim declared “It’s like I’m being punished for being born disabled, like I committed some kind of crime.”

Kim has considered applying for MAiD. She says “I have no dignity left… I don’t feel like I’m worth anything to anyone anymore.”

Kim reports knowing of many people in similar circumstances who have applied for MAiD, and has personally “lost six friends to suicide since [the beginning] of COVID.… They don’t want to live this way anymore, there is no safety net at all for people that are disabled.”

The same investigation described how others in similar circumstances have sought MAiD for relief from intolerable poverty. A Twitter posting from one woman read “I’ve enrolled in MAiD, seeing as I can no longer afford to live, nor can I afford the food & medicine I need to get better.”



“Madeline” **

Black silhouette of a woman.

For the past 20 years, the 54-year-old Vancouver woman has amassed $40,000 in debts trying to treat myalgic encephalomyelitis and other ailments. When her money runs out, she says a medically assisted death may be her only option.

Madeline has Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.  She estimates that the supports she needs to live “not in agony” cost about $100,000 per year.

Madeline faces the decision, each month, to either accrue more debt or go into rapid deterioration and escalating pain. She is now in a position to access support because of donations to a GoFundMe page. However, in order to stretch her funds, Madeline was doing about half of the therapies recommended so she could stretch her quality of life as long as possible. 

Madeline knows that when her credit runs out she will have to stop taking supplements, receiving physiotherapy and intravenous naturopathic treatments she says are finally helping her find balance. She says she’s already isolated and alone.

“They would rather see me die than recognize my illness and pay for the treatments that keep me alive,” said Madeline. “My death is no more inevitable than a diabetic’s who can’t get insulin.”

Madeline says “I want to live, and with more support I can… I shouldn’t have to beg for my life.” THERE IS A GOFUNDME PAGE raising money for Madeline to continue to live:




“Denise” **

Denise lives with a chronic condition called Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) and has used a wheelchair since suffering a spinal cord injury six years ago. MCS can cause difficulty breathing, rashes, and hemiplegic migraines that cause temporary paralysis. 

Denise is seeking to move to an apartment that has cleaner air and is wheelchair accessible. Her only income is from the Ontario Disability Support Program, where she receives a total of $1,219 a month. She applied for MAiD due to abject poverty. 

Denise and her supporters had called several housing agencies in Toronto in an attempt to find housing she can afford, but her searches had failed. The application process for MAiD, on the other hand, had been much easier.

SOURCE: (The photo was snagged from her GoFundMe campaign)


Anonymous @ALYSM745 **

Anonymous @ALYSM745 spoke at a webinar called Death by Coercion. They said “[Choosing to access MAiD] truly was a matter of pure mathematic fact that I just simply could no longer afford to live. I started getting really sick about a year and a half ago and on Ontario Disability I can’t even afford to get an ear or tooth ache. Pre pandemic I was struggling to get by on $1.50 or less per day. The pandemic would have me attempting to exist on less than $1 per day if not for my food intolerances and need for over the counter medicines because most drugs are no longer covered under Ontario Drug Benefit. Needing to purchase over the counter medications, coupled with my food intolerances maxed out my $2000 limit credit card and drove me deeper into my overdraft until I hit my limit so that when my $800 disability cheque arrives its only for $300 because the rest is in overdraft. I was in danger of my account being closed and therefore not able to purchase medications and food that somewhat help prevent bouts of cyclical vomiting. With those guardrails removes I would be ten times as sick and I didn’t want to suffer for months waiting to get approved. The math was clear that the time to start the assisted suicide process was now, especially with no sign of hope for increases coming down the line.” 



Alexis Wilson **

Alexis lives with numerous conditions including bipolar disorder, PTSD, arthritis and other physical disabilities that limit her mobility.

Alexis receives an income of $1,169 each month from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). This is her only income as she is unable to work with her several health conditions. After paying her rent and bills, she is left with exactly $125 for food each month. 

Alexis is fearful for the day that her mother eventually passes away. Alexis’s mother, a senior with a limited income, provides her with some food and other supports. Even with her mother’s help, Alexis often skips meals because she cannot afford to feed herself. 

If the ODSP rates don’t improve, then Alexis says she will have to seriously consider applying for medically-assisted death. 



Susan” **

Black silhouette of a woman.

Multiply disabled but none of her diagnoses are terminal. 

She says she has dietary restrictions making food banks an inaccessible option, and a livable income is literally a matter of life and death. 

A victim of a violent assault.

Like many disabled Canadians forced into poverty by insufficient income support, Susan exists in a space between not wanting to die and not wanting to live the life she is currently living. 

SOURCE: Dying for the right to live –


Richard Ewald **

A black silhouette of a man.

Richard Ewald has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stage four liver disease and suffers from chronic pain and depression. He survives on Ontario Disability Support Payments (ODSP), but barely.

Ewald’s payments total $1,169 per month to cover rent, food, and other essentials. He tells CityNews he will apply for MAID if his situation gets worse and knows several others who are doing the same.

“I’m not suicidal. Sometimes it’s a choice between burning to death and jumping out of a high-rise building. I’d like to have that choice. I’ve suffered. I really don’t want to suffer past a certain point,” said Ewald. “I wouldn’t be doing it if I wasn’t so stuck in this situation with ODSP.”

“If you had the choice between two ways of going, what would you do? Prolonged suffering or just get it over with?” asks Ewald.



David Douglas Wilkinson **

David is a 59 year old man who has initiated the process to receive MAiD. 

A black silhouette of a man.

David developed multiple chemical sensitivity and following several exposures, could no longer live in his newly rented apartment and became homeless. Due to his disability, living in a tent was also not possible and is now forced to live in his car. 

Following many attempts to secure safe and healthy housing, David is resorting to MAiD because there are no other viable options available to him. 

In a July 2022 letter to Canada’s Prime Minister, the Association pour la santé environnementale du Québec / Environmental Health Association of Québec states that David explained the following: “ ‘there is no hope for me, I cannot find a place to live that does not make me very ill’, ‘at least I will have a dignified death’, ‘I would hate to freeze to death in winter’. He is painfully aware that winter is approaching – and so are we”. 



Tracy Thompson **

Tracy has Long COVID. A year after Thompson became ill, MAiD legislation was revised in Canada. She has begun the process of applying for MAiD. She says that “[MAiD] is exclusively a financial consideration,” 

After 26 months of lost income since the onset of symptoms, no foreseeable ability to work and an absence of support, Thompson said she expects to run out of money in about five months.

Since Thompson’s illness is not clearly outlined in the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) eligibility, which currently grants a single applicant a maximum amount of $1,169 a month, she believes it could take years to qualify – something that many Ontarians who’ve applied to the program say is not uncommon. Even if Thompson did qualify, she says the whole sum of the monthly support would, at best, cover her rent.

So far, Thompson has sought one doctor’s approval for MAiD and is waiting to hear back from a second specialist.



Rosie Ashcraft **

Rosie, a mom from BC living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), is considering applying for medical assistance in dying. EDS is a disorder that affects connective tissue.  As a result of EDS, Rosie has to wear a neck brace to keep her neck stable. She is in constant pain and spends most of her days at home in a medical bed. 

Rosie wants to get surgery to help stabilize her neck, as her condition is getting worse, but she has been waiting almost fours year to see a neurosurgeon. She has looked into getting the surgery in the U.S. but the cost is around $100,000.

Rosie has been considering MAiD as she feels she has been left with no other options to alleviate her suffering.  Her family has insisted that what she desperately needs is help. 



Eric Coulam **

Eric’s father Wade announced his passing on social media. He said “With sadness in our hearts we announce that Eric passed peacefully on August 17 shortly after 5pm. Eric was surrounded by his father Wade, his 2 cousins Taylor and Josh and his Grampa Ivan in his final hours.”

Coulam has been living with an undiagnosed gastrointestinal condition which has led to multiple hospital stays, liver and kidney disease, and severe chronic pain. He has visited countless doctors and endured many months in hospitals but has yet to get a diagnosis.

After struggling for almost a decade, Coulam, who now lives in Fort St. John, B.C., has decided to get medical assistance in dying, known also as MAID. He is 20 years old.

Coulam said that while in hospital, one of the other patients in his room was provided MAID. He asked his doctor what that entailed, and after doing research and speaking to specialists, he decided it was the best option for him.

Eric says he will ultimately decide when to officially end his life. He has not chosen a specific date and it will be his choice when he has done certain things and seen specific people before saying his final goodbye.




Gwen Jacobs

Black silhouette of a woman.

“It’s eugenics, because they don’t want us to be properly supported and be OK. And if we don’t have family to take care of us, it’s `Please just go and die,”’ said Gwen.

Gwen has Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Autism. After her back was injured in a 2013 car accident, Gwen developed chronic intolerable pain. She uses a walker for mobility and will soon have a wheelchair after a two-year wait.

She cannot access essential treatment for her chronic pain and disabilities, which make it impossible at times to eat, sleep, move or play with her child. Gwen says she fears losing custody if her pain worsens or her support network falters.

Gwen receives $1,694 per month in provincial disability assistance, which barely covers rent and food for her and her daughter, let alone accessibility improvements such as a ramp she needs to get into housing.

Gwen said ICBC and the province have both declined to pay for a treatment course recommended by her doctors that would help desensitize her central nervous system and bring her pain to a more manageable threshold so that she can get surgery for her back injury.


GoFundMe campaign:


Natalie Jarvis **

Natalie Jarvis has antisynthetase syndrome with interstitial lung disease, a rare auto-immune condition.

When her Halifax specialist informed her that her only chance to survive would be a double-lung transplant. It wasn’t the surgery that scared her. Or the lengthy recovery. It was the cost. Natalie would have to move to Toronto to await her surgery. 

“Ten grand may not sound like a lot to some people, but when you’re living paycheque to paycheque and you need at least $10,000 to get you started to live somewhere else, it’s a lot.”

While Jarvis desperately wanted a lung transplant, the stress on her family financially was becoming too much. It’s then that she started thinking about palliative care.

Instead, she found a former university residence, where she now shares a room with her mother. There’s a kitchenette within arm’s reach of her bed. But she’s not complaining: it’s only $2,000 a month. In the end, her employer and friends chipped in, raising $7,000 to help her start paying rent.

While Natalie changed her mind and received her transplant, she said that two other patients that year made that decision [to die] and didn’t change their minds. It is unclear whether they died by MAiD.




Mother of Jennifer Turton-Molgat **

In a Facebook post written in August 2020, Jennifer Turton-Molgat wrote: “My mom, the most positive, resilient, loving person I know has requested an assisted suicide. She wants to end her life, not because she is in pain or intolerable discomfort, but because she is being held prisoner in her long-term care home and has lost her will to live.”

Prior to the severe Covid-era restrictions in her long-term care home, Turton-Molgat wrote that her mother’s “only enjoyment in life was feeling the sunshine and fresh air on her face and spending time with her family. And that was enough for her. Despite [her significant disabilities] she would often say, ‘I’m so lucky’.”  



Jonathan Marchand **

Jonathan Marchand is 43 years old and fiercely independent but forced to live in a nursing home for the elderly in Québec. Because he relies upon a ventilator to breathe, he requires 24-hour care. With no appropriate supports available in the community, a long-term care facility was his only choice.

Marchand describes a satisfying life with good relationships and personal and professional success until he “hit the wall” of requiring government-funded assistance to support his life.

Marchand argues that “increasingly, euthanasia is offered as a solution to institutionalization. The idea is that if you don’t want to die slowly in a long-term care facility, we are going to help you kill yourself.”

By his own account, Marchand had friends who killed themselves rather than go into long-term care. He “decided that I would not go ahead with euthanasia, but I would fight to get out of this place.”

To draw attention to his circumstances, and to force the government to provide the support that he needs to live independently in the community, Marchand set up a large cage outside the Québec legislature, where he lived for 5 days and 5 nights, in protest of the intolerable conditions of his life. 

As a result of this extraordinary effort and the significant media attention that it attracted, the Québec government set up a “working group” to advise on alternatives to institutionalization. 

Jonathan was told he’d be part of a new pilot project that would provide for the support necessary to move out of long-term care and live in community. He was later told this “pilot” would be effectively a group home. 

SOURCE: (link no longer available)

and   and (link no longer available) and


Arleen Reinsborough **

Arleen is 75 years old and her fear of nursing homes has her more determined than ever to seek assisted suicide. 

Her fear of long-term care doesn’t qualify her for MAiD. She is confident her unbearable pain will.

Reinsborough says, “It isn’t depression that makes me want to die, it’s the fear of living with inhumane, overcrowded conditions, loneliness and lack of hope… I’m trying to do all I can to prevent going to long-term care”.

She says that all the homes she can afford are “worse than living on the street or living at all”.

Reinsborough cites other serious senior problems that spur her desire for assisted dying. They include small pensions, medical services that the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)  won’t pay for, and prescriptions not convered by the Ontario Drug Benefit program. 

She also says it is impossible to get into senior (affordable, accessible) housing.



Roger Foley **

Roger Foley is 42 years old and has significant disabilities that require 24-hour care. He seeks to receive that care at home, rather than in a London Ontario hospital where he has lived for at least 2 years.

Foley has advocated forcefully that his discharge from hospital must be to his home environment, with a commitment to provide the care that he requires in his home.

Foley has said that he is “always thinking I want to end my life” because his demands for appropriate care at home have been denied. He asserts that he is being pressured to end his life.

Foley publicly released audio recordings of hospital staff offering him an assisted death and outlining how much it costs to keep him in hospital instead of getting the home care he desires and requires.

His case attracted the attention of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Cataline Devandas Aguilar, when she visited Canada in spring 2019. Following her visit to Canada, she issued a statement that she had “received worrisome claims about persons with disabilities in institutions being pressured to seek medical assistance in dying.” She urged the federal government to investigate and prevent such cases.





Randy Obenauer **

Randy has suffered from a string of medical issues that have left him in need of constant in-home care. 

Over a decade ago, Randy endured an injury that put him off work for the past 10-15 years, and for which he has been receiving compensation. Now, Randy is experiencing heart and lung problems, leaving him unable to do much.  Most recently, Randy had to have a catheter inserted to help with gallstone issues.

With no family, and his care worker retiring, Randy doesn’t know what he will do for care.  Care workers have tried to convince Randy to enter a care home, but he just wants to stay in his own home, where he can die peacefully. Some care providers have even suggested placing Randy in palliative care or signing him up for medically-assisted death. 

Vince Campbell, Randy’s friend and neighbour, says he can’t bear to watch Randy suffer. He can’t believe the way in which Randy is being treated by health care providers. 



Candice Lewis **

Candice Lewis is a 25-year-old woman with significant disabilities who lives in Newfoundland with her mother, Sheila Elson.

Elson reported that when Candice was receiving emergency medical treatment in hospital in 2017, a doctor approached her to propose MAiD for her daughter.

According to Elson, when she firmly stated that she would not consider MAiD for Candice, the doctor accused her of being selfish.

Candice recovered from her acute illness and was discharged home from hospital. However, both Candice and her mother were traumatized by this encounter. Elson spoke out about this experience publicly because, in her words “We don’t want it to happen to anybody else.”




To Phat “Tommy” Sec **

Tommy Sec was 41 years old and had been living his life from bed for several years, stuck in a nursing home. His wife had divorced him, and he had lost custody of his only child.

Increasingly isolated from family and friends, he described himself in an autobiographical film as being “in a rage”, feeling “hatred towards everyone”.

Alert and articulate but with significant physical and sensory impairments, Sec described his life as “like being trapped in a coffin and buried alive”. Although he was able to communicate through his computer, he said that “no one listens”.

Sec was informed of his eligibility for MAID in May 2019.

After media attention to his plight, Sec began to have more visitors from local Vietnamese and Cantonese communities, and according to a reporter who helped bring his story into the public domain, this social contact elevated his spirits. 

In November he was reported to be demanding to be moved out of his nursing home into a private residence with a live-in caregiver. As well, he was taking steps to repair his relationship with his estranged family, particularly his teenage son.

Tommy Sec’s current status went unknown until, in 2022, we found out on Facebook that he remains in long term care.