Canadian artist gives journalist full access to witness her medically-assisted 'good death'

Jeanette Lodoen, an 87-year-old artist from the Canadian city of Saskatoon, gave Jason Warick of CBC News unrestricted access to her medically-assisted death to help Canadians understand what it's like. On the night before she died, she and her family had a special get-together where they all decorated her coffin with art and poetry. Jeanette wanted to help people understand the realities of medically-assisted dying. In her words, "They aren't aware a person can have control and dignity when they die, control over how they die."

This choice by Jeanette is part of a bigger trend in Canada, with more and more people choosing medically-assisted dying. Experts believe this trend will continue as more people learn about it and understand that it can be an option. Through her story, Jeanette hoped to show people the process of medically-assisted dying and encourage thoughtful decision-making about it.

Why did Jeanette choose assisted death? How did it feel to know the exact moment she would die? How did she spend those last weeks, hours, minutes?

Formal interviews soon gave way to unstructured chats, with Jeanette often asking as many questions as she answered. As the day neared, and her remaining time and energy diminished, videographer Don Somers and I mainly stayed in the background, observing. With visitors unable to pretend they'd see her again, we witnessed one funny, sad, tender exchange after another.

Jeanette often told them she tried to live a good life. Now, she was seeking a good death.

Head to CBC News to follow Lodoen's end-of-life story from January 23 to her final day. (Digg)