Dr. David Robinson will speak as part of a panel on a symposium discussing Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) at Parksville’s Community and Conference Centre Thursday, April 19, 2018. — Photo submitted

Parksville symposium to address assisted dying

Panel will discuss Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) in April 19 session

A symposium addressing the issues surrounding Medical Assistance in Dying will take place Thursday, April 19, at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre.

The free symposium was organized by former three-term Parksville mayor Paul Reitsma, who will serve as moderator. Speakers will included Dr. David Robinson, lawyer Karen Stewart and Rev. Phil Spencer.

Reitsma said the panel of speakers may address questions ranging across religious, legal, moral and medical implications and consequences.

“The potential divisiveness or splitting up of families created by this process, as well as financial ruining/consequences, the trepidation of abuse and hastening of death for monetary reasons are just some of the concerns,” he added.

Reitsma said he was moved to organize the symposium after a close personal friend, Al Davies, chose to enlist the aid of a physician in terminating his life earlier this year, which “prompted me to start asking questions,” he said.

Robinson has practised in Canada since moving to Newfoundland from the U.K. in 1981, and has worked on Vancouver Island since 2006. Formerly VIHA medical director for community hospitals in Campbell River, Comox, Port Alberni, Duncan and Saanich. Since September 2014 he has served as executive medical director Portfolio 3, which covers the Cowichan Valley, Saanich Peninusla and Southern Gulf Islands as well as Island-wide programs of medical imaging, lab and pharmacy.

Stewart has been a lawyer since 1984 and established her own law firm in Parksville in 1992. She offers legal services primarily in wills and estates, family law, real estate and elder law, and had also been active in the community as a hospice volunteer and board member with Oceanside Hospice Society.

Spencer is an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada who has served at St. Stephen’s United in Qualicum Beach since 1993. He was a registered nurse in his previous career and has a long-held interest in bio-ethics.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the symposium will run from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Guests are welcome to ask questions of the panel directly or pass questions on to the moderator. The speakers will also be available to answer questions immediately afterward, Reitsma added.

Admission is free, though donations are welcome to help offset costs of the hall rental.

— NEWS staff

Just Posted

VIDEO: Man extracted from vehicle eight hours after accident near Cameron Lake

People making pit stop at picnic area made crash discovery

Parksville man arrested in relation to Mercedes, motorcycle fight

RCMP recommend assault charge for man driving Mercedes

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

BC lawn bowlers clinch national pairs title

Despite rain, QB club calls Canadian event a success

Guitarist explores beyond borders of genre, countries, music, coming to Qualicum Beach

Globetrotting Jesse Cook touring Island, performing in Qualicum Beach Sept. 27

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Most Read