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Notable Work

Represented adults and Medical Assistance in Dying

Dealing with guardianship and terminal illness

Shelley Waite and Amanpreet Sran represented a woman who wanted to terminate her guardianship authority to make personal and health decisions for her sister (the “represented adult”) and allow her to pursue Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID).

The application was granted after the represented adult had two medical assessments speaking to her capacity to make this health decision for herself.

Background

Mary* struggled with managing her bipolar disorder for many years and in 2016 her sister Joanne* was granted guardianship and trusteeship. Not long after, Mary was diagnosed with ALS, which progressed rapidly. In 2018, Mary began asking about MAID.

Even though Joanne wasn’t opposed to this, Mary could not pursue MAID because of the guardianship order. At this stage, the CEO of Dying with Dignity reached out to Shelley Waite to ask if McLeod Law would help the sisters terminate the guardianship order, which would allow Mary to pursue MAID.

Results

An urgent ex parte application was granted, and Mary formally began the MAID process. She was approved, and her procedure was scheduled for late August 2018. However, on the day of, it was determined Mary no longer had capacity, and her choice to pursue MAID was invalidated.

Mary passed away from her ALS three weeks after the scheduled procedure date.

Shelley Waite has been extensively involved in the advocacy of MAID legislation in Canada.

*Names have been changed to protect identities.

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