New Knowledge to Develop a Stronger Sense of Humanity in our Personal and Political Lives
In a world that seems to be topsy-turvy, my wife, Jean, and I needed to remind ourselves of our participation in and contribution to a common human destiny that is more loving and caring. So we wrote a poem together:
Look for Beauty in all things,
Expect Love at all time,
Give from the Heart,
Be grateful for Life itself,
It proved to be especially important to us as a mantra not only to maintain our optimism about life but also to express our gratitude for life itself. We wrote two books:
Toward a More Loving and Caring World
About Book I
With Jean's help and guidance, I wrote a book based on my 25 years as a private practitioner in family and child therapy and community development. It was entitled Toward a More Loving and Caring World because it is what we both believed in and tried to make happen. The effort is ongoing. It was the main theme of the development of this website and it is still available through McNally's Bookstore or as an ebook from this site. There is an excerpts section on this site that shares some of the highlights of Toward a More Loving and Caring World. A picture of the book launch at McNally’s is posted at the bottom of this page.
The Power of Love's Connectivity: A Case Study of Medical Assistance in Dying
ABOUT BOOK II
In February 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that it would no longer be a criminal offence in Canada for physicians to assist someone to end their life under certain conditions. On June 17, 2016, the Federal Government passed legislation that detail the circumstance in which a person may be eligible for an assisted death.
In February of 2017, my wife applied for medical assistance in dying and was interviewed by two teams of clinicians to ascertain whether she was eligible. I was present with her at all three interviews; our family was also present in the second and third interviews. The third interview was to inform us that Jean qualified for medical assistance in dying. At the time, she was in the hospital with heart failure and her diagnosis was terminal. Add to this, she had been unable to have a hip operation due to the fragile condition of her heart. During the three week stay in hospital, her medical team was able to find the right medication to help her managed the excruciating pain. This plus her knowing that she could opt for medical assistance in dying at any time, Jean rallied.
She was released into Palliative Care at home in March of 2017. We expected two months but as Jean would say, we were "blessed" to have nine months at home. Although Jean put up a good front, her heart condition gradually worsened and her body was no longer responding to the pain control medications as hoped. She opted for medical assistance in dying. The procedure was carried out on December 23, 2017, by the clinical team of MAID in our apartment at Revera’s Portsmouth Retirement Community with me at her side and her family and close friends connected emotionally and spiritually as a circle of love. Jean called our family members and her friends forward and spoke with each person privately. Then she spoke to us all urging us to enjoy life as much as she had and above all, to be grateful and "smile." It was her favorite song.
This is first and foremost, an autobiographical love story. But it is also a user’s case study of a very new and revolutionary system of medical services:
Medical Assistance in Dying
Dying with Dignity
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Jean Ayre wrote her own obituary and planned her own Celebration of Life with the intent of helping others enjoy and be grateful for life in the face of death by becoming more familiar with the notion of dying with dignity. Her words are central to this book. More about Jean →
Don Ayre has put Jean’s words into the context of the new and revolutionary practices that are challenging today’s medical professionals…and us. In the very real sense that these two books are based on their mutual experience and love, they are co-authored. More about Don →
Jean assisted in the writing of Toward a More Loving and Caring World previously featured on this site. The hash marks in the upper right corner of this page lead to additional information and a CONTACT form. Both books are available for purchase later on this page.