S1. E5. Naming the Complexities of Medical Assistance in Dying with Daniel Hayward

Rev. Bri-anne sits down with Rev. Daniel Hayward as they discuss disability justice, the United Church of Canada’s statements on Medical Assistance in Dying, and some thoughts about balancing the rights of the individual against the welfare of the collective.


Rev. Daniel Hayward
Dan’s Twitter

Bible Bites

Jeremiah 29:7
Read by Landon Hammet of South Carolina, from a trade show in Chicago.


Timbre Choir – Come and Go

Emorie – River

Relevant Links

United Church of Canada’s Statements on Medical Assistance in Dying
2017 Statement
Revised Statement (2021)

The Rooster Crows Podcast from Lawrence Park Community Church

Woman with chemical sensitivities chose medically-assisted death after failed bid to get better housing – CTV News: April 13, 2022

How poverty, not pain, is driving Canadians with disabilities to consider medically-assisted death – Global News: October 8, 2022

Ethics of medically-assisted death questioned as some turn to it as an alternative to poverty – CityTV: October 14, 2022

Wilderness Times Links

Wilderness Times Website
Jubilee United Church Website
Jubilee United Church – Facebook
Jubilee United Church – Instagram
Jubilee United Church – YouTube
Jubilee United Church – TikTok

Resistance Church Website
Resistance Church – TikTok
Resistance Church – Instagram
Resistance Church – Facebook
Resistance Church – YouTube

Wilderness Times and Resistance Church are digital ministries of Jubilee United Church, an Affirming (2SLGBTQ+ positive) congregation of the United Church of Canada, committed to the work of being an anti-racist congregation, as well as Right Relationship with Indigenous Peoples.  The space on which we work and gather is the land of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples from across Turtle Island.

Resistance Church reaches out to those for whom traditional church models are not always relevant or accessible. Rest. Hope. Community. Subversive faith & radical love in response to extraordinary times.



Bri-anne Swan – Host
You’re listening to Wilderness Times, a podcast exploring the intersection of faith and justice brought to you by Resistance Church and the Jubilee United Church in Toronto.


Hello, and welcome to this week’s episode of Wilderness Times, released on Wednesday, October 26 2022. My name is Bri-anne Swan and in partnership with Norm Seli, I am one of the called ministers at Jubilee United Church in Toronto. I also serve the Resistance Church community, one of Jubilee’s digital ministries.

Jubilee United Church, as perhaps the name implies, is a congregation within the United Church of Canada. And up until now, on this podcast, we’ve not really focused on anything particularly specific to the United Church, or even really Canada for that matter. But this week, I will be joined by my friend and colleague and one of my very favorite theologians, the Reverend Daniel Hayward. Dan will introduce himself more fully later in the episode. But, I was particularly interested in bringing Dan on the podcast because of his involvement with the United Church of Canada’s Theology and Inter-church Inter-faith Committee, and the work that they have done over the years in relation to Medical Assistance in Dying.

Medical Assistance in Dying is illegal in all but 11 states in the US. In Canada, however, Medical Assistance in Dying, or MAID, is legal within certain parameters. And these parameters have been expanded in recent years. In fact, Canada has the most permissible medical assistance and dying laws in the entire world. The aim of MAID is to alleviate suffering, and was originally offered to people whose death was, quote, reasonably foreseeable. When my own father was dying a couple of years ago, it was an immense relief for him to know that MAID was available if his pain became too much to bear.

Now, the rules outlining who can access MAID have expanded to include those with “grievous and irremediable medical conditions.” And this includes some with disabilities where death is not foreseeable. Within the next six months access to MAID will also expand to those who suffer from mental illnesses. Alarmingly, with this expanded criteria, there are increasing reports of disabled people accessing MAID not because they wish to die, but because they cannot afford to live. I will link a number of these reports in our show notes. In one of these news articles a woman who has a chronic illness that could be controlled if she had access to safe and chemical-free housing was granted medical assistance in dying after she was unable to secure housing that she could afford.

There are many other examples of those living with disability and in poverty, who feel that the only option to relieve their suffering is MAID because they cannot access safe, affordable housing, or the supports they need to live. It is all very distressing. And so who did I call? I called Dan Hayward. I wanted to talk to Dan and hear about the work the United Church of Canada has done on this topic, much of it under Dan’s leadership. You will hear us chat about disability justice and the United Church of Canada’s statements on Medical Assistance in Dying, as well as some thoughts about Christian ethics, balancing the rights of the individual against the welfare of the collective. It is a lot to take in. But hopefully we can do it together.

Our Bible Bites segment this episode is brought to you by Landon Hammett from South Carolina. And we will also hear music from Emorie. But first, to start us off, we have Timbre Choir, and the title track from their 2021 EP “Come and Go.” You can find links to Timbre Choir and their music by going to our show notes.

[MUSIC – Come and Go by Timbre Choir]


Thank you so much, Dan, for joining me today on Wilderness Times. It’s really really great to have you. I’m wondering if you could just describe your your role with the church and your involvement with with sort of the issue around Medical Assistance in Dying.

Rev. Daniel Hayward – Guest
So currently, I’m on a regional staff for Nakonha:ka Regional Council which covers most of Quebec. But prior to that I was the chair of the Theology and Inter-church Interfaith Committee, which is the church’s elected committee responsible as the name indicates for theological questions from the General Council, our highest decision making body and interfaith and ecumenical relations.

And so, the Theology and Inter-church and Interfaith Committee was the body of the church that was examining Medical Assistance in Dying as it does many other issues.

What what does it mean when the United Church, for example, takes a position on a given issue? Like, what is that process?

So I think a lot of people think that when we say something that is binding on all members of the church that “Oh, you don’t belong anymore, if you differ with what the committee said about issue x”, but it is really an attempt to speak to the church and provide questioning and thinking about issues and to try to bring our Christian perspective and out of our unique Canadian tradition to the issues of the day. So the Theology and Inter-church Interfaith Committee during my time, wrote about theologies of disabilities. We wrote an apology for the church’s role in forced and coerced adoptions. We have looked at dialogue with the ongoing had ongoing dialogues with the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches exploring different ecumenical topics. And we’re part of negotiating two agreements with our partner churches in the United States. And this does not require anybody in the United Church to do to believe that they need to do anything but I am hoping that our work on forced and coerced adoptions informed the public debate and brought light to this issue which made a great impact in the lives of so many women and their children in from the 1940s onwards.

And so relating to MAID, how was the Theology and Inter-church and Interfaith Committee involved in that? How did that come to be a topic that was discussed by the committee.

So it received a direction from the General Council Executive, which is the group that meets between General Councils which are every three years? Well, not lately because of the pandemic. But anyway, the executive that meets in the in between time asking it to look into the issue, and 2015, there was a major decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, the Carter case, which struck down the provision in the criminal code to allow physicians to be charged with a criminal offense if they participated in what was then called physician assisted dying, a patient was at the end of their life requested assistance and ending their life. This required the federal government to prepare legislation to allow medical assistance and dying in Canada. And that legislation was passed in 2016. Prior to that, we were asked by the General Council Executive to look at this issue and prepare a statement for the church to examine it, and that was released after the legislation was passed by Parliament. But we also did one in 2020. After the there’s amendments to the Criminal Code, to look at other areas of the Medical Assistance and Dying. We prepared a subsequent statement that year. And it may come up again, because there are now an expert panel and a special parliamentary committee looking at further changes to Medical Assistance in Dying, which will be reporting to parliament this fall.

In 2020, the United Church, General Council Executive adopted some of the recommendations of the Theology and Inter-Church Interfaith Committee, and that the recommendations were that the criteria for foreseeable death for medical assistance in dying be maintained, that ending suffering due to mental illness not be a category for made and that the church advocate for increased mental health resources, that advanced directives in relation to made not be permitted, and that for mature minors capacity to make a decision for made be judged on a case by case basis by medical professionals, in consultation with family and with community. One of the things I’m wondering is, what was the response from just the people in the pews, you know, just the regular ordinary United Church folks to that recommendation or that decision.

So to give some context, so in 2016, Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada was enabled by the passage of the legislation in Parliament. It then there was a decision by the Superior Court of Quebec in 2019, which struck down the requirement in the legislation that anyone seeking medical assistance in dying be facing Have what the federal legislation called a reasonably foreseeable natural death, the Quebec legislation called at the end of life. So this required the federal government to make changes to the the legislative framework. And also, at the same time, they considered other questions such as the use of advanced directives. So you could say in advance that you want medical assistance in dying, should you be unable to consent to that in the future, whether or not medical assistance in dying should be permitted for mature minors, so people under the age of 18, and whether people should be who are diagnosed with mental health disorder be permitted to seek medical assistance in dying. So we considered all that in the 2020 statement, the federal government allowed some of these in the the legislation that was subsequently passed, but not all of them.

What were the ones that were allowed and what was were the ones that were not?

So the reasonable, the criterion of reasonably foreseeable natural death was removed. This was a requirement of the Superior Court of Quebec decision. Advanced Directives were permitted in a limited sense. If you have already requested Medical Assistance in Dying and are at the end of your life. You can have a directive stating that that will be carried out, even if you were unable to give final consent. It does not allow a person to request years in advance, for instance, to request medical assistance and dying should they suffer from a certain condition or be unable to consent when the time comes. So Advanced Directives the way most people think of them, were not permitted. The age of consent is being considered by the special joint parliamentary committee and will report to parliament later this year, and the question of mental of people diagnosed with a mental illness that will become legal in 2023, under a provision of the legislation. So the reaction to that—

So I guess even before we get into that, like what was what were and I’m going to link to the actual documents in the show notes of this episode. But what were the concerns of the committee around some of these more expansive criteria?

So if we go back to the original statement, or theological basis begins, as we did the work on theologies of disabilities, with the scriptural truth that humans are created in God’s image. When your theology starts with this, as Christian viewpoints do this requires you in your ethical thinking, to hold a number of things in tension, humans being created in God’s image and intention with what are the limits of our thinking and our actions in terms of ending life, as there is the fact that all humans are created in God’s image mean a blanket prohibition on ending all life, which is true for if some Christian emphasis hold that position. Most of what we would think of as mainstream churches do limit that — they have concepts of warfare, for instance, that allow for the ending of the lives of aggressors in warfare in order to protect the people who are the subjects of that aggression. So a Christian ethicist might say, for instance, that combat against the Russians in Ukraine, who are the aggressors, is permissive or is permitted, because to do so, protects the lives of Ukrainian civilians. This was the position the United Church of Canada held in both world wars for instance.

So is it permitted to end someone’s life through Medical Assistance in Dying? The United Church of Canada by adopting the report that we wrote says that this is permitted if it is that ending a life of suffering is permitted if it is the free and informed choice of in an individual are taken in relationship with their family, spiritual advisors and their physicians. This is another tension. The legislation only speaks of individual autonomy. As Christians, we hold individuals in tension with our responsibilities to the community, and the role that our lives are lived in the fact that our lives are lived in community. So that is a tension that shows up in the report, we also have the tension of various our theology, living in tension with the fact that lives or our lives are messy. I don’t think anybody listening to the podcast is going to argue with that these days. And the tension between what theology says and how absolute statements work out less absolutely in people’s lives. This is the tensions that all Christian attention that all Christians feel trying to translate the words of Jesus into how they live day to day, what does it mean to look at the Sermon on the Mount, and statements like Blessed are the meek, Blessed are the peacemakers. Jesus’s words about adultery and living, in relationship with people, all these things that we think of when we think of his words, try to translate those into our daily lives. So this idea that absolute statements are less useful in a complicated issue, like medical assistance in dying, shows up in our role as a church as spiritual leaders and advisors to help people work through these questions. At and, but this parts of the while, we have to say are taken as absolute by people who then push back there’s a powerful constituency in the United Church of Canada, in favor of medical assistance and dying before it became legal in Canada. A lot of the people involved in the movement for it were United Church people, particularly in British Columbia, which is where the original court cases came from winding their way through the courts. And I think this is a tension we have between people who favor medical assistance in dying, and those who …. being an option for people but are concerned about, as our report says, coercion of disabled people, and elderly people and others, and to choosing this when it is not the choice that they may have made without that pressure.

And we’re seeing increasing media reports about this as well, people who are and I, I would say seeking Medical Assistance and Dying, but wouldn’t necessarily be there not so much seeking to die as they are seeking to end suffering. And those feel very, very different. People living with disabilities and people living in poverty too. And, and often, of course, there’s, there’s overlap and intersection often with with those things, and in these media reports that people with disability and people who are living in poverty are accessing MAID or trying to end their lives and stuff, that it’s almost being spoken about as if this wasn’t a foreseeable consequence of the of the legislation. And I’m, I’m wondering what the committee and what you you thought, like, as you were discussing this, what were these situations, things that were thought about, about how this was going to impact people with disabilities and other vulnerabilities?

Well, I think this was foreseeable, I think all of us would like Medical Assistance in Dying to be what the original vision of it was. I think people have a concept that this will be people in full possession of all of their faculties making this choice, and just slipping away quietly surrounded by family and friends. Whether at home or in a hospice. And this is an ideal that we hold on to. But as, as you’ve said, the reality for many disabled people now and people with mental illness is that they feel that the Medical Assistance in Dying is now their only option in a society which does not offer them supports. Here in Ontario, the Ontario Disability Support Program had a small increase this year, but it’s nowhere near what people need to actually live on. Given the inflation we are experiencing, and rising, rising costs for housing, and food and transportation. This is frequently spoken of in the reports of people who are choosing Medical Assistance in Dying rather than try to keep on living as disabled people. And in an in an environment where their needs are not being met. This was spoken of in the original report, and particularly in regarding the subsequent report in regards to removing the criterion of reasonably foreseeable natural death. Allowing this to the Superior Court decision. To stand that removed the end of life criterion means that expanding medical assistance and dying is not only for those who are dying, but for those who have a disability, it sends the message to disabled people, that the society does not need them, their gifts are not valued, their lives are not of value. And it removes the free and informed choice that the church holds up as necessary for ethical medical assistance in dying. But this doesn’t mean that the majority of medical assistance and dying cases in Canada are now up to 10,000 a year are not being carried out in free and informed choice. But we’re seeing more and more that this is becoming a great ethical hazard that people are now choosing it with the amended legislation to end their lives when they are not dying. But they are not being supported in our society.

So Canada’s MAID legislation is at this point, the most permissive in the world, it’s more permissive than Belgium or the Netherlands. Why do you think that is?

Because with a lot of legislative choices, they are partially because it’s driven by court decisions. This is a tension we have in our parliamentary system. And it’s often a good one in the courts correcting government overreach. And this case, the Medical Assistance in Dying regime is constructed to respond to the Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Carter case, which forced an amendment to the Criminal Code, and subsequently to the Superior Court of Quebec decision in the true Sean case, which removed the requirement that people choosing medical assistance and dying be at the end of their lives. And there is a constituency in Canada, which favors us having an extremely permissive regime for medical assistance. And I’m not using regime as in the negative sense here, it’s that that extremely prison of permissive structure for medical assistance in dying, dying with dignity, and other Canadian groups have been campaigning for years for and would like it to be even more permissive and allowing mature minors and and to choose it for instance.

Yeah, so as I was reading some of the reports that were coming out in the summer and more recently about people with who are living with disability being either offered Medical Assistance in Dying or seeing it as the only way sort of out of their, their current situation. It was reminding me of like examples in, in literature like Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol like, “if they would rather die than they’d better do it and decrease the surplus population.” Or a book that was really formative to me when my in my when I was an 11 or 12, The Giver where they talk about “releasing” people with disability or people who are too old or whatever and, and it it frightens me that this is the direction that that it is, as a society as a system as a country, it is becoming easier to simply go well people have access to to end their life, rather than investing in better mental health supports or supports for people with disability, which always leads me back to questions around well, what role does the church have or Christians have in shifting a society to one that what that is more compassionate or more in, in line with? I mean, what is a Christian value? I guess that’s up for for debate. But what role do you see the church, the United Church, Christians having and sort of this broader narrative around how Medical Assistance in Dying is being accessed and by who and for what reasons?

Disabled people are used to abled people calling for our deaths over issues from ranging from mask wearing and vaccination to the what should be the mundane issue of plastic straws that became a great cause celeb a few summers ago? And, you know, we said that rather than expand medical assistance, nine to cover people with mental illness, why do we not do a better job at supporting people with an with mental illness? So the church has said this, but how does that work out into any kind of pressure on governments to do so? At a time when health care budget? Well, health care budgets are always under pressure. But even more so these days that hospitals across the country are full and intensive care beds are not available. We said in the original report that medical assistance and dying cannot be seen as a way to bring down health costs. And then when the legislation was before the Senate, as Senator asked for a cost estimate of how much medical assistance and dying could bring down health costs, which the parliamentary budget office produced. So now we know how much money we could save by expanding medical assistance and dying to as many disabled people as possible. Which, which should frightened people —

Yes! People can’t see my face… I mean, it frightens me. I’m sure it frightens a lot of people. But there’s being frightened. And there’s I don’t like feeling frightened, and then going, “Oh, well, I guess I’m just scared” and then letting it go. There’s always the dilemma that I experience about, you know, what is the what is the doing? And sometimes it’s not. I mean, there are situations where it’s a listening rather than a doing but it feels like such as like a symptom of a very big problem that has that is not new to people who have been living with disability and living in poverty and living with mental illness and stuff.

So I’m not sure we have a lot of support from people in the church. I think for a lot of people, this is a simple issue. It’s Medical Assistance in Dying, or no Medical Assistance in Dying. And people want Medical Assistance in Dying.

People don’t like their individual agency being infringed upon…

This is particularly true for people…well, I was born in 1962. So people a little older than me. We’re thinking now having to think about these choices in life. But it’s a it’s a complicated issue. I think we’ve tried to arrive at a position that is not either or, it is Medical Assistance in Dying, is ethically permissible for Christians. And while even if it wasn’t, I know that clergy would be working with people in their congregations who are looking at this and trying to be as supportive, as pastoral as possible, but we have arrived at a position that medical assistance and diet the free and informed choice of medical assistance and dying is permissive. It’s ethically permissible for Christians but for forced or coerced Medical Assistance in Dying is not. But it tends to be seen in either or terms.

I think people also think that if the government changed and another party was in power, that medical assistance and dying be taken away completely, which makes them want to hold on to the system that’s in place, even if it can be abused, even if disabled people are going to die under it. Even if it’s going to be seen as a way to decrease healthcare costs, right? Even if it’s going to be expanded further to people under the age of 18. People and people with mental illness.

One thing that the the original report tried to encourage, as the United Church is, in particular, with our reputation for being places where things can be talked through, and, and studied. You know, how many book groups and Bible studies and kind of salons are being held in United churches across the country, looking at everything from indigenous justice, to mining to other issues, we really need to create a culture right, United churches are safe places to talk about death and dying. After all, we have a entire theology that revolves around a God who died on a cross, which we talked about on Good Friday, and then death becomes a topic that nobody wants to deal with again, till it comes around again, the next year. very taboo.

Yeah, so and I like that’s partially because our society likes to confine death to funerals, and then not bring it up again. You know, who’s who, who has been in a group that where the name of a deceased relative comes up, and everybody’s just kind of. “Maybe we shouldn’t say that” because they’re, the widow was in the room or whoever was actually probably really waiting for somebody to recognize that they have gone through a traumatic experience, and to remember their loved one. Death becomes a taboo topic, but United Churches should be a safe place for people to talk about end of life concerns. Do people really explore advanced care planning? Do they talk about advanced until they talk about palliative care? Do they talk about hospice? Do they talk about Medical Assistance in Dying? Do they even talk about who should be my substitute decision maker? When I’m in the hospital, not everybody expires nicely at home. It’s, you know, the Victorian ideal of just coughing and passing away in the next moment that was held up in literature for the last 150 years. That’s how people are supposed to die, we have an idea of the good death, which rarely works out in practice, but we don’t talk about it in advance. We have a whole we have an hour every Sunday morning, to talk about these things. We have evenings, we have daytimes, we have zoom calls to talk about these things. And I think this is really actually countercultural because our society is determined not to talk about it.

Right. Right. And in Resistance Church, we talk about that. The idea that when church functions in a healthy way, in an open way, in an authentic way, it is actually countercultural, that these these topics that we try to shy away from in the rest of society are the ways of being that we kind of shy away from and in the rest of society, when church functions well, that’s how we work, you know, working in community where the collective is just as or perhaps even more important than the individual and that individual rights and freedoms and stuff have impacts for the collective. And there’s obligation as well to the collective.

I think now we see that more than we did in the past, that issues of justice for disabled people are more interconnected to our work as the church than we have recognized previously. This is partially because of the composition of our communities of faith. Now we have more older people disability as a spectrum that there’s no our theologies of disabilities report which is pletely different report that the committee did. And let the church adopted at the General Counsel and Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador says there is not a, there’s not a dividing line between disabled and normal. That is the thinking of an old model of disability that disabled people themselves have largely rejected. There’s a spectrum of disability. And in disabilities, Austral elastic people move down the spectrum and become disabled when they fall and break a leg. Or they have a condition that subsequently is corrected through surgery or an accommodation. And they move into a different spot on the spectrum. But all of us are on the spectrum of disability. And we have more people moving down the spectrum of disability as our communities of faith become older, so that we are hearing more and more about issues like physical accessibility and barriers that are not just physical. A church can make great efforts to put on a ramp or a chairlift and continue to preach a message which is harmful to disabled people who are hearing it or seeing it. Communities can continue to have faith continued to exclude people with certain disabilities while accommodating others. This is becoming more and more to the forefront I think as in the last few years, medical systems and dying isn’t as a disability issue, particularly since the amendments which have removed the criterion of reasonable reasonably foreseeable natural death. Even though people within the United Church have said to disabled people, this is not a disability issue. You need to be silent on this. This question. But the straws are a disability issue. As we’ve seen in the news, the last few days singling out candidates for political office because they need an accommodation for a disability. This took place in another country, but it’s all over the news is the disability issue. Transportation is a disability issue. The fact that the disabled people who use wheelchairs are terrified to fly because we just have no idea if our wheelchair or walker is going to survive in one piece at the other end and be usable because airlines break them constantly. With no repercussions. We have seen because of this medical assistance and dying issue, that income support is a disability issue, as is the cost of food as is the cost of housing. These are issues that the church with its seeking the welfare of the city cannot remain silent on. And again, it becomes countercultural, because a lot of the message that society sends is ableist and is sees the interests of disabled people as nonsensical, or as something that only applies to a tiny minority and is not worth engaging. Or we have already done enough, which I quite frequently hear. Or is inconveniencing the minor if inconveniencing the majority.


Hi, this is Landon Hammond from South Carolina. Reading our Scripture today from Chicago actually, from Jeremiah chapter 29 Verse seven. It reads, promote the welfare of the city where I’ve sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it. Because your future depends on its welfare. Friends, this is the word of the Lord.


So the connection to these questions probably is not obvious for this I came across it. It’s in the Anglican Church of Canada’s testimony to the special joint parliamentary committee which was considering The original medical assistance and dying legislation is one of those things where I’m like, Oh, I wish I’d thought of that one first. Now I can’t use it. But I’m using it here because this quote from the prophet Jeremiah reminds me of quite a few things. I think it speaks to the way that we live as Christians today and a culture that, well, our colonial settler culture in Canada is as largely Christian in its roots, but less so in its practice in 2022, but that the passage speaks to that. And speaking of people being an exiles, as Christians, we are rest strangers and wanderers on the earth are true citizenship is elsewhere, but we are part of the city of taking center here in the wider sense the wider community, the nation. And in this city, this nation, we may be Christians, a certain kind of Christian, there are lots of Christians who are not Christians in the same way we are, there are lots of Canadians who are not Christian at all. Not everyone is like us, and not nor should they be, like us. Nor do we expect that the wider community outside the church has the same perspective, the same faith perspective or a faith perspective to bring to these debates or to crafting legislation. Nor are we within the United Church of one perspective on these, these issues. I think if you survey people in any United Church community, you would find, as I said, a range of opinions on Medical Assistance in Dying. But in the context of the city, this city or nation, where we have been sent into exile where we have our earthly home, we have a duty to the original Anglican testimony said we have a duty to care about to pray for to live in harmony with and to act with respect to all others, on the basis of their inherent human dignity and worth. This shows up in our statement on medical assistance and dying, in our language about all humans are created in the image of God. It shows up in our statement on disability justice. And this extends to the ways that we offer spiritual care to everyone who calls upon us. Anyone can walk into, I hope, we have an environment where anyone can walk into a United Church community of faith and ask questions and speak about their own experience and hear about the experiences of those that they speak to. And our understanding of the duty of care for all expense to all people whether or not they come from our faith tradition, the United Church, a similar faith tradition, or no faith or a completely different faith tradition or no faith tradition at all. Those who support the choice of Medical Assistance in Dying those who do not support that choice. I think that scripture quote speaks to all of that, and to our questioning our the answers that we come up with partial and imperfect as this as they may be. I think it speaks to that as well, that we’re trying not to deal with theological absolutes here. But in real exploration with people of the choices they make about the ends of their lives, and those needing to be free and informed choices. That is how we seek the welfare of the city. We can apply that to lots of other issues. But I think it speaks to me particularly in the context of this issue of medical assistance in dying.

Thank you very much for joining me, Dan. It was really great to have you with us.

I love being with resistance church. So keep keep resisting.

Keep resisting.

[MUSIC: River by Emorie]

That was Emorie and her song River from her album In Faith. As always you can find links to Emorie’ music by going to our show notes.

Now I recorded this conversation with Dan on the afternoon of October 14. And at that time, I had no idea that our friends at Lawrence Park Community Church were also releasing a two part podcast about Medical Assistance in Dying. Their podcast is called The Rooster Crows. Now Lawrence Park Community Church is another United Church congregation just down the road from Jubilee United Church. They are our friends on Lawrence Avenue. And so in our show notes at WildernessTimes.ca I have also linked to The Rooster Crows podcast so you can hear Reverend Roberta Howey’s conversations with Anne Simmons, Heather Morgan, Susan de Sharda and Janice Craig. If you are looking for more conversation about MAID I encourage you to search for The Rooster Crows wherever you listen to podcasts.


Wilderness Times and Resistance Church are part of the digital ministry of Jubilee United Church. We are committed to continuing offering opportunities for spiritual engagement in digital spaces in the long term, but we need your help. Please consider a donation as an investment in this ministry. You can find our donations page by going to WildernessTimes.ca/donate. From there, you can choose Wilderness Times from the drop down menu. Whether you donate once, or sign up for a monthly contribution. We are very, very grateful for your support.


Thank you so much for joining us this week. We will be back next week with more music, more conversation. And hopefully you but until then, take care of yourselves and each other in these wilderness times. We’ll see you soon.

Wilderness Times and Resistance Church ministries of Jubilee United Church, which is an affirming ministry of the United Church of Canada. You can find links to Jubilee, Resistance Church, as well as a full transcript of this episode by going to our show notes at WildernessTimes.ca