Remembering Lives Lived

Please visit these pages with respect and solemnity, but feel free to celebrate remembered triumphs and joys as well. We will add stories as they come to us. Please contribute as you feel able and willing to do so. If you have more information, a photo or a memory of the person memorialized, feel free to share. (Entries will be moderated).

[Cases marked with a double asterisk ** are taken (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. Particular thanks to Kerri Joffe (ARCH), Natalia Hicks (Inclusion Canada) and Catherine Frazee (VPS and Disability Filibuster)]


Eric Coulam **

Eric’s father Wade 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 became ill after his mother’s suicide in 2013. He lived with an undiagnosed gastrointestinal condition which led to multiple hospital stays, liver and kidney disease, and severe chronic pain. He visited countless doctors and endured many months in hospitals.

After struggling for almost a decade, Coulam, who lived in Fort St. John, B.C., decided to get medical assistance in dying. He was 21 years old.


See original article from June, 2022: 


Wilma Hertgers

The picture is of Wilma and her twin sister Jen, taken in 2000. Jen died of cancer in 2008. Wilma died by MAID.

“Gary Hertgers learned that his sister, Wilma, had received a medically assisted death when her apartment manager called to say that her body was being carried out into the street.

“You mean, my sister is dead?” he asked.

“I thought you knew,” the manager said. “She told me the family knew.”

But, in fact, none of her immediate family knew that Ms. Hertgers had been approved for medical assistance in dying, let alone set a date. Not her 88-year-old mother, whom she called twice a day. Not her older brother, who lived one town over. And not Mr. Hertgers, 61, who had only that Friday, after driving the four hours to Chilliwack, B.C., shared a pot of tea at Wilma’s kitchen table.

They’d chatted as usual, mostly about Ms. Hertger’s health; at 63, she experienced chronic pain, and wrestled with depression. She told him the location of her will. But she’d done that before, so the clue didn’t register. They parted with a hug. See you soon, he said.

Two days later, in the same apartment, someone said a prayer at her side while she died. At least, that’s what Mr. Hertgers was later told by the doctor who delivered the fatal medication. The identity of that person is still a mystery, like many of the details around his sister’s death.”



John Patrick Tylor Lyon **

Christopher Lyon’s father died by (a contested T1) MAiD in the summer of 2022. 

A black silhouette of a man.

His son, Christopher, says: He was not terminally ill. He had arthritis, diabetes, and chronic pain. He was in the process of being assessed for T2 MAiD (for people who are not terminally ill), but was moved to T1 (for people who are terminally ill) because he had voluntarily stopped eating.  In the months before he applied for MAiD, Dad was acutely suicidal. He cited the suicides of people like Robin Williams and Ernest Hemingway as inspirations – men who “just knew when it was their time to go”. He said he looked up ways to kill himself, online, such as starvation. Other times, he would say things like “ashes to ashes” and “we are dust in the wind,” as in previous bouts.”

“The first time my family and I heard from his MAiD Provider was forty-eight hours before death… The provider told me that he was track-moved because a) he started refusing solid food (but not, as we discovered, caloric liquids), and b) that his elevated white blood cell count indicated an infection that he did not immediately want to investigate. Apparently, those fugitive choices were the basis for labelling his death as fixed and foreseeable. Yet it was never explained to me how either choice was irremediable or constituted imminent death or loss of capacity…”

See also:


 Sathya Dhara Kovac **

Sathya died by T2 MAiD in the fall of 2022. 

A young dark-haired woman in a selfie close-up

Sathya said “Ultimately it was not a genetic disease that took me out, it was a system. There are not enough supports and services promoting quality of life and Independence for those who are not healthy and able-bodied. Look to unhealthy societal structures and government. There is desperate need for change. That is the sickness that causes so much suffering. Vulnerable people need help to survive. I could have had more time if I had more help.”



Donna Duncan **

Donna Duncan died by T1 MAiD on October 29, 2021.

A broadly smiling blonde woman with bangs and glasses.

The medically-assisted death of Donna Duncan is being investigated by police, as her daughters have claimed that she should not have been approved for the procedure given the state of her mental health. 

In February 2020, Donna was in a car accident and suffered a concussion. Due to the onset of COVID-19 restrictions, her rehabilitation and medical care were cut back and she did not receive treatment for months.  In the summer of 2020 she was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. Medical records from her family physician reveal that she had anxiety and depression, likely linked to the car accident. Donna was rapidly losing weight, weighing just 82 pounds. She was in constant pain. She refused to take any medications for her mental health, claiming they didn’t work. 

Donna asked her family physician to grant her approval for medically-assisted death, but he declined and referred her to a psychiatrist. That psychiatrist’s assessment of her revealed that he believed her depression was related to her physical illness and pain. 

Donna went to Fraser Health to get MAiD where she was assessed and approved. When her daughters heard of this they obtained a court injunction to halt the procedure, and were granted a mental health warrant. Donna was taken to the hospital where she received another psychiatric consult, which found her to be competent to make the choice for MAiD. 

After lacerating her wrist, she received yet another psychiatric evaluation which found that she was depressed and had little insight into her problem. She was transferred to another hospital where she was assessed yet again and was again found to be competent.

Donna received medically-assisted death that night. 



Jennyfer Hatch, [aka “Kat”]**

Jennyfer died by T2 MAiD on October 23rd 2022. 

An unsmiling young woman gazes at the camera.

About a decade ago, Jennyfer received a diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a disease that weakens the connective tissues of a person’s body. She suffered organ failure as a result of complications with EDS. Her body was “shutting down”.  Struggling to access healthcare, Jennyfer decided to look into getting end-of-life care, hoping to be referred to palliative care. She instead found herself being approved for MAiD.

Jennyfer said that she could not afford the resources and supports that would help improve her quality of life. It was her disability and poverty that led her to MAiD. 

Before her death, she was featured in a glamorous pro-euthanasia commercial for Simons department store.




“Sophia” **

Sophia died by T2 MAiD on February 22, 2022. 

The image of a woman in a pink jacket is blurred to protect her identity.

In a video filmed 8 days before her death, Sophia stated that, “The government sees me as expendable trash, a complainer, useless and a pain in the ass.”

Sophia suffered from a chronic condition known as multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). She chose medically assisted death after her two-year search for safe and affordable housing failed. 

Symptoms of MCS worsen when cleaning chemicals and cigarette smoke are present in a person’s environment. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions, both indoor smoking and heavy cleaning practices increased, sending fumes through the vents of Sophia’s apartment building. As a result, Sophia was confined to her bedroom, where the  vents were sealed to keep the fumes out.

Four Toronto-based doctors, who were aware of Sophia’s case, wrote letters to the federal housing and disability government officials on her behalf, imploring that the government help to find or build a chemical-free residence. Sophia’s friends even set up a fundraiser to try to help her get better housing, where they raised approximately $12,000.

There was no response from any officials and no housing had turned up before Sophia’s appointment for medically-assisted dying.



Rosina Kamis**

Rosina died by T2 MAiD in Sept 2021.

A young woman with short dark hair is lying on her side speaking to her camera.

In a series of YouTube videos, Rosina shared why she sought MAiD. “Anything can happen from this moment until the euthanasia date that could cause me to change my mind. From physicians deciding to provide adequate pain relief to friends deciding to step up and help me and so on.”

Rosina lived in isolation. She explained that “When a person is suffering, you don’t leave them alone, with nobody at all! When someone is suffering, you don’t lock them up in a home or a psychiatric facility for life! Sometimes all the pain will go away just by having another human being here. Let me go through it with them.”

She was living in poverty, and avoiding institutionalization. “In Canadian society, we have a culture of killing instead of caring… Nobody is holding my hand… If I were to die, nobody is going to grieve. The government doesn’t give you enough money to survive. I don’t want to accept institutionalization”

Rosina recorded a virtual appointment with her doctor and two trusted friends. One of those friends brought up the issues of poverty and uncontrolled pain affecting her quality-of-life.

SOURCE: (184) Why did I apply for euthanasia? – YouTube AND (184) Is euthanasia the only solution? – YouTube 


Caroline Lamontagne

Caroline died by MAID in October 2022

A smiling young woman dressed for a cold day in a turban-style hat, turtleneck and blanket style coat.

Caroline became quadriplegic following a diving accident in the summer of 2020. 

“That day, I died.  I died for friends, I died for some people in the family, I died for myself too, because I had to learn to love myself again.  I had to learn how to live, how to eat.  I’m like a baby.  So for me, Caroline Lamontagne died at the age of 33.”

Caroline had a hard time accepting her disabled body.  She explained that her new reality was made up of daily obstacles that manifested themselves, among other things, in the eyes of people, of society.  “I have friends who have left.  I have friends who are not ready to see me again like this.  For them, it’s too hard. … We are put in places where we have to ring to be heard and, if you have a little character like me, you are abandoned.  The option I would have would be to be placed in a centre with elderly people.  … It’s not a life.”  Caroline died while still living at home with her partner and child.



Michael Fraser

Michael Fraser died by MAID on July 2, 2022.

Michael’s death from liver disease was not imminent.

Michael poses on the sofa wearing a dark suit and tie, with a flower in his lapel.

Fraser met with a Toronto psychiatrist to “disentangle the mental health issues from the physical,” said Dr. Persaud, his MAID provider. He also consulted a second physician. The physicians concluded Fraser qualified for MAiD based on his liver failure, physical decline and degree of suffering. “But the stark economic realities undermining his mental health and quality of life were deeply woven into Fraser’s reasoning,” said Persaud.

A woman friend said of him, “You couldn’t make up anything that would be as awful as the circumstances in which he grew up [including sexual abuse by a step-father and his friends; emotional abandonment by his mother, resulting in years of mental health struggles] and to have that kind of upbringing and yet turn into such a fine, kind and thoughtful reflective person who put everybody else ahead of themselves …”

He made his living cleaning a church in an upscale neighbourhood, which allowed him to rent an apartment, but it was inaccessible and expensive, and left him very little for food or other expenses. He had a partner who cared for him. He had friends who cared for him. But nobody could think of what to do to help him stay alive.



Chris Gladders **

Chris died by MAID in January, 2021.

A dark-eyed, dark-haired young man smiles slightly at the camera.

He was battling Fabry’s disease, a genetic condition which affects the body’s ability to break down a specific fatty acid and causes a number of side-effects.

He had two daughters Hailee, 13, and Savannah, 5.

His brother reported that at the time of his assisted death, “The bedding hadn’t been changed for weeks. There was feces on the bed. There was urine on the bed. There was urine and feces on the floor, the room was absolutely disgusting … it’s time for someone to take over.” And that the day before his death “”He pulled the call bell beside his bed. I was on the phone with him for 40 minutes and nobody answered that bell. That was his last night,” 

SOURCE: Niagara MPP calls for province to take over ‘disgusting’ Greycliff Manor after 35-year-old dies | CBC News


Sean Tagert**

Sean Tagert died by MAID in 2019 (Before T2 MAID was passed into law)

Sean Taggart sitting in his wheelchair, facing his customized computer station.

A devoted father, Sean Tagert had pieced together suitable care arrangements in his own home, including extensive personal supports and highly sophisticated communications technology. Although he required 24-hour care, he received only 15 hours of care daily from Vancouver Coastal Health. This left him with a shortfall of $263.50 daily, and a “constant struggle and source of stress”.

Once his personal savings were exhausted, Tagert’s only option was to move to a Vancouver residential care facility, more than 4 hours away from his home in Powell River. Such a move would have required him to leave much of his communication technology behind, and effectively curtail his relationship with his 10-year-old son, who spent weekends with him in Powell River as part of a shared custody arrangement. 

In 2019, exhausted from years of battling to secure funding for life-sustaining home care, Tagert chose to die by MAID. 

In a final Facebook post chronicling his struggle Tagert wrote: “I know I’m asking for change. I just didn’t realize that was an unacceptable thing to do. Hundreds of British Columbians are dying horribly every year.” He described the funding decisions and institutional offerings advanced by the local health authority as “a death sentence.” 




Archie Rolland **

Archie Rolland died by MAID in July, 2016. (Before T2 MAID was passed into law)

Archie is sitting up in bed, facing his computer screen that he operated with technology in his eyeglasses.

Eighteen months before his death, Archie Rolland was transferred against his will from a residence that provided highly specialized care to a geriatric long-term care facility in Lachine Québec.

Without staff adequately trained to communicate with him and provide essential care, he spent the remaining days of his life documenting the suffering that this caused and advocating for humane and capable care.

When he began to lose hope and found continued life under these conditions intolerable, he made his request for MAID, which was readily approved. 

At the time, Rolland told the Montreal Gazette that “it wasn’t the illness that was killing him. He was tired of fighting for compassionate care.”  




Raymond Bourbonnais **

Raymond Bourbonnais died by MAID in December 2019.

A grey-haired gentleman lounges in his lazy-boy beside his power wheelchair.

When Raymond Bourbonnais was no longer able to manage all his personal care needs at home, he was relocated to a Québec nursing home. During the 13 months that he lived in this facility, he filed multiple complaints about inadequate staffing, unbearable temperatures due to a lack of proper ventilation or air conditioning, and stressful and unwelcome interactions with older residents with dementia with whom he could not avoid contact.

With conditions in his residence only deteriorating and his complaints seeming to go unheard, Bourbonnais hoped for a cure for his disease. When a physician confirmed that no cure was possible, she broached the subject of MAID, and Bourbonnais is reported to have “jumped at the chance”.

In a farewell video in which he recorded a final “crie de coeur”, Bourbonnais spoke of a “constant degradation of services” at his long-term care facility, and pleaded for others to “do everything possible to put pressure on the government” to address the deplorable conditions in these facilities.

Before dying by MAID, Bourbonnais said that he was “very happy to forget this bad part of my life”.



Gabriel Bouchard **

Bouchard chose to die by voluntary starvation in 2015, while being provided comfort care in hospital.

A man with abundant grey hair, beard, glasses, and a blue hospital gown, reclines in a hospital bed.

Gabriel Bouchard was a 57-year-old man with lifelong disabilities. As his disabilities progressed in late adulthood, he found it necessary to resign from his employment as a social service professional that had been a great source of pride and satisfaction for 35 years.

He then faced an existential question: “Would you prefer to leave this life as a man who gladly, proudly gave 35 years to social service?  Or after another 15 or 20 years, leave a life of degradation?  I have no one in my life, no family, I’m alone, I would have ended up on welfare.    I would have ended up in a nursing home, and I had no desire to do that, I know too well the quality of life in there — or the lack of quality!  Or to go out with the memory of a job well done.  The choice was easy for me.”

When asked in a video recorded interview what might have made his life worth living, he responded “If I had good service, a livable income – welfare is not livable… Yes, if it were possible, but it’s a dream!” He explained that he had declined provincially available services “because although the people were good, they weren’t paid fairly.”

At the end of his interview, he muses “People with disabilities are costly, right? I’ll be one less expense, right?”

SOURCE: https://youtu.b on these e/duEC3TqpsV4


Yvan Tremblay **

A balding man with glasses sits at his accessible computer workstation.

Yvan died by suicide in 2014, before MAID became law.

Now many others are forced into a similar “choice”, but now they call it T2 MAID, and a doctor or nurse can “help”. Clearly, death was not the “help” Yvan needed then, and it’s not what people need now.

  • For over a decade, Yvan Tremblay lived independently in his own apartment with many customized adaptations to accommodate his significant disability.
  • When new fire regulations deemed that he could not be safely evacuated from his apartment, he received notice of eviction.
  • With his alternative housing options extremely limited and certain to curtail his independence and quality-of-life, he made multiple attempts to protest this judgement and retain his apartment.
  • When these attempts failed, Tremblay died by suicide in September 2014. Although it was not an option at the time, under the current law, Tremblay would be eligible to receive T2 MAiD.


See also: Beaudry, Jonas-Sébastien, The Way Forward for Medical Aid in Dying: Protecting Deliberative Autonomy is Not Enough (June 30, 2018). First published in the Supreme Court Law Review, Second Series, Vol. 85., Available at SSRN: (link no longer available)


Mr. Sorenson, aka “Mr. X” **

Mr. Sorenson died by MAiD on October 3, 2020.

A black silhouette of a man.

A man in his 80s with chronic shortness of breath causing extreme fatigue wished to die by MAID because he was no longer able to perform the activities that are important to him. He reported that he had “lost his sense of purpose”.

Referred to as “Mr. X” in court hearings related to his approval for MAID, he had seven different MAID Assessors review his application. Some of these Assessors raised concerns of anxiety, depression, and dementia.

“Mrs. Y”, his wife of 48 years, sought to intervene, asserting that he lacked capacity to make this request and did not know what he was doing due to his mental illness.

Mrs. Y’s effort to stop her husband from receiving MAID ultimately was heard by the Court of Appeal for Nova Scotia, which ruled in favour of proceeding with Mr. Sorenson’s approved MAID.



Alan Nichols **

Alan Nichols died by MAID on July 26, 2019. (Before T2 MAID was passed into law)

Alan was a white-bearded gentleman with glasses.  In this picture he wears a light green shirt and a ball cap.

Alan Nichols was admitted to Chilliwack General Hospital in June, suffering from acute dehydration and malnourishment. 

While in hospital for treatment, Nichols was approved for and received MAID.

Nichols’ family members were notified of the scheduled procedure four days before it took place. 

Aware that their brother had a history of intermittent severe depression and knowing that his patterns of behaviour during these episodes included failing to eat and care for himself, the family protested, demanding that the hospital provide Alan with the care he actually needed.

Because Nichols had been deemed capable and eligible for MAID, his family was unable to intervene to save his life.  His death certificate cited “hearing loss” as the reason for MAiD.