Chapter 7: Preparing for a medically assisted death

Helping children tell their story

The expert says
Tara Noble MSW, RSW on opening the doors for ongoing communication(3:22)Video transcript
Tara Noble MSW, RSW on the impact of MAID on a child's grief experience(3:22)Video transcript
Tara Noble MSW, RSW discusses sharing information about a MAID death with others (3:22)Video transcript
Tara Noble MSW, RSW explains providing tools for when children have a difficult time with a love one's decision to choose MAID(3:22)Video transcript
I've been there

Several family members didn't agree with Robert's choice so we prepared the kids for some of the comments that might come up.

What did they die from?

It’s common for family members, including children, to be asked this question. They don’t always know what to say, particularly when the death was medically assisted. 

To help your child prepare for this question, it’s a good idea to ask how they might answer. If they’re unsure, you can help with some suggestions and practice them with the child. For example: 

He died of cancer.

She had a medically assisted death because she was dying of ALS.

I don’t feel like talking about it. Thank you.

Please ask my parents.  

When others don't approve

Not everyone agrees with medical assistance in dying. It's helpful to prepare children for this. Explain that people have different beliefs about ways of dying, and a decision that's right for one person may not be right for another. 

  • Ask your children to tell you if someone expresses their disapproval to them. 
  • Ask if they've already experienced this reaction. If they have, ask how they felt about it and explore ways they might respond in the future. 

These conversations will give your child the tools they need to manage these situations.