John Hofsess' assisted voluntary death

Victoria writer and founder of the Right to Die Society of Canada John Hofsess was fortunate to be able to chose the time and manner of his own death and to die surrounded by his friends.

Hofsess' article “By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead” was published on Toronto Life a few minutes after he died.

Between 1999 and 2001, I helped eight people die, including the poet Al Purdy. Now, as I prepare to take my own life, I’m ready to tell my story.

Madeline Weld (one of the editors of Humanist Perspectives) accompanied Hofsess to Basel, Switzerland; Weld’s article “I Watched Right-To-Die Activist John Hofsess End His Life” was, like Hofsess’ article, published few minutes after Hofsess died:

On February 25, I left Ottawa for Basel, Switzerland, where I would witness the assisted death of the right-to-die activist John Hofsess. I’m an editor at the journal Humanist Perspectives and had been working with John on a book, which I plan to release in April. John asked me to join him, along with our friend Richard Thain, the British right-to-die activist Michael Irwin, and two filmmakers named Troy Moth and Josh Lambert, who were working on a documentary about John’s death.

In an article in The Globe and Mail, “The Right-To-Die Trailblazers: Public Service Pioneers,” Gary Mason describes John Hofsess as “a man of immense compassion who had a deep understanding of the human condition.”

These articles should be required reading for both opponents and supporters of physician-assisted death in Canada.

(h/t Richard Thain, Kirsta at Longreads)
Originally published at

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