BITES ILLUSTRATED BY KYLE METCALF
A new end-of-life option
WRITTEN BY AMY SAWCHENKO
Sometimes, looking after your health can mean looking after your death.
In June, a new option was added to end-of-life-care in Canada: medical
assistance in dying (MAID).
“We will respect everyone’s opinions and rights and support those who believe
it’s the most appropriate option for them,” says Dr. Jim Silvius, medical director of
Seniors Health and Pharmacy Services with Alberta Health Services.
To get assistance in dying, a person must:
• Be at least 18 years old
• Voluntarily request help
• Be able to give informed, written consent
• Have an incurable, irreversible health condition that makes life intolerable
• Be facing natural death in the near future
• Be eligible for provincial or federal health services.
The first step in getting assistance is talking with your primary doctor. If they’re
uncomfortable with helping, you can email the team of healthcare professionals with
Alberta Health Services’ MAID Coordination Service at firstname.lastname@example.org; you
can also reach the team by calling Health Link at 811.
For more information, visit ahs.ca/maid.
Art supplies bring relief
to evacuated families
WRITTEN BY JANINE POERSCH
After fire forced families to flee Fort McMurray, donations started pouring into
evacuation centres. Parents and kids welcomed shoeboxes full of art supplies
donated by volunteers from the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre in Calgary.
“Kids needed something to occupy their time,” says Sherry Heather, site director
of the Chumir Centre. “Families didn’t expect to be gone for long and kids only
brought what was comfortable: their stuffed animals and blankets.”
“Before we could unload the boxes they were gone,” says Heather. “It was a small
gesture, but it went a long way for families.”
The Chumir Centre’s first Give Back campaign also collected and gave away
2,000 donated shoeboxes to underprivileged kids in Calgary.
WRITTEN BY CAITLIN CRAWSHAW
People with schizophrenia can
experience delusions and hallucinations
that cause them to lose touch with
reality. This state is known as psychosis.
Early intervention can help make it
easier to deal with the condition.
“Typically, people with schizophrenia
have been sick for many months before
they get treatment,” says Dr. Jean
Addington, a researcher funded by
Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions at
the University of Calgary’s Department
Since 2008, she’s led the Calgary
arm of the North American Prodrome
Longitudinal Study, an international
research project to identify youth with
early signs and symptoms of psychosis.
The signs and symptoms include
suspiciousness, unusual thoughts,
paranoia and certain memory problems.
Her work with the study has helped
create a tool for trained clinicians to
predict whether a patient will develop
psychosis and that could lead to earlier