N.S. woman pushing for doctor-assisted death for those living with PTSD
Published Wednesday, March 9, 2016 7:17PM AST
A Nova Scotia woman living with post-traumatic stress disorder is calling for those living with the mental illness to be eligible for doctor-assisted death.
Elizabeth Hopkins says she’s been living with PTSD since she was a teenager.
"I was so traumatized by it,” said Hopkins. "Basically my whole life has been wasted."
Hopkins says her life was changed after undergoing surgery didn’t want, but her parents consented to. She says she hasn’t stopped suffering internally.
"I relive waking up on the operating table, screaming, and them holding me down and laying on top of me because I tried to sit up," said Hopkins.
Hopkins says those living with mental illness should not be excluded from doctor-assisted death - especially when there's no other treatment options left.
Sheilia Sperry is with the organization Dying with Dignity. She says mental illness inclusion is one of the recommendations submitted by the parliament's special joint committee on doctor-assisted death.
"I can't see why (PTSD) would not be included under the current regulations," said Sperry. "It's enduring, it's intolerable suffering if the person can't find a treatment that they are pleased with - all of those things would allow them to make the request.”
Sperry says she's confident the new legislation will include the mental illness recommendation.
Hopkins hopes government will listen to the concerns of those who - like her - have suffered in silence.
"I would want to plan it ahead, with the option of backing out. I don't know how the law is going to work with that."
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau.