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LETTER: 'Dignity' deserved in seeking medically assisted death

'When this world is not set up for people to survive, leaving it should be a personal choice,' says letter writer
Tyler Dunlop, shown in this file photo, has begun the process for medically assisted death.

MidlandToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected]. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following is in response to a story titled 'Homeless, hopeless Orillia man to seek medically assisted death', published Jan. 23.

Thank you to Tyler for being brave and articulating what many of us have been consumed with and contemplating. Without the economic means to survive, particularly as renters, we face a bleak future.

Of course, there are many factors that contribute to a person’s desire to leave this world, but many of those things can be navigated with housing. Without it, all your energy is consumed by survival. It becomes exhausting and rather pointless.

Tyler, if there is a way for you to want to be in this world, I hope it presents itself. And if there is not, I hope you get your wish — the autonomy to decide with dignity.

For those who question whether people who struggle endlessly with mental health should be allowed to decide, might I note that we always have had a choice. Suicide has always been an option. Being allowed to make an informed choice with dignity is the real issue. When this world is not set up for people to survive, leaving it should be a personal choice.

I’m gutted. You don’t know me, Tyler, but I smile when I see you around. You’ve always reminded me of my brother, who I almost never see. I’m sorry this world has abandoned you. The work you have done to reach your decision is clear. To articulate it matter-of-factly, when in fact there is nothing more devastating, your contribution here matters. Thank you for being brave and opening people’s eyes, or at least trying to. Some prefer them glued shut.

Valerie Kitchen