Abstract

In this essay I reflect on the meaning of death in life. Drawing on experiences as a practicing family physician providing care for dying patients and being witness to the deaths of family members, I argue for greater efforts to explicitly and openly support frank discussions about death and dying. I endorse the recommendations of the Royal Society of Canada expert panel, and point out remaining challenges that must be met regardless of whether there is a change in the legal structures regarding the permissibility of aid in dying. I conclude by arguing that understanding death in our lives helps shape its meaning and human significance.