‘The Ultimate Choice’ podcast reveals the personal and ethical stakes of the MAID debate

Toronto, Ontario, Jan. 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TVO Today releases The Ultimate Choice, a groundbreaking original podcast series that explores the state of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) in Canada, developed in partnership with the Investigative Journalism Bureau (IJB) and the Toronto Star.

The Ultimate Choice follows Michael Fraser as he details the difficult circumstances that motivated his decision to voluntarily end his life. Debilitated by daily pain and suffering, he elected a medically assisted death after an exhaustive journey to manage the worst impacts of his illness. Through extensive research from the IJB and powerful conversations and interviews, the series, hosted by award-winning Toronto Star investigative journalist Rob Cribb, captures the political and social realities of the MAID debate and how it affects the everyday lives of Canadians.

“MAID is an incredibly sensitive topic that continues to make headlines around the world,” says John Ferri, VP of Programming and Content at TVO. “This podcast is both an intimate portrait of individuals and families struggling with making the ultimate choice and a hard-hitting exposé of the high-stakes ethics and politics at play behind the scenes.”

In 2016, Canada passed legislation allowing people with a foreseeable death from a grievous medical condition to receive MAID. More than 45,000 Canadians have ended their lives through medical assistance since then, with demand growing dramatically. 

Now, the issue has taken on an added layer of complexity as the federal government is in the midst of debating expanding eligibility to include mental health. This massive shift would place Canada in a small group of countries that allow mental health as one of the criteria for medically assisted dying. Whatever comes next, there will undoubtedly be repercussions on a global scale. 

"Delving into this intensely personal and moving story has been the highlight of more than a decade of reporting on how and why Canadians choose to end their lives," said Cribb. "It has been both a remarkable journalistic privilege and a deeply personal journey into the existential questions so many of us face.”

The Ultimate Choice is a compelling exploration of MAID that provides listeners with a rare opportunity to get an inside view of one person’s journey while exploring the outside effects of this changing legislation.

Subscribe to TVO Original podcast The Ultimate Choice via Apple, Google, Spotify or your preferred podcasting platform. Listen to a series trailer here.

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TVO Media Education Group inspires learning that changes lives and enriches communities. Founded in 1970, we are a globally recognized digital learning organization that engages Ontarians of all ages with inclusive experiences and diverse perspectives. Through video, audio, games, courses, newsletters and articles, we’re investing in the transformative potential of education for everyone. Funded primarily by the Province of Ontario, TVO is a registered charity supported by thousands of sponsors and donors. Visit TVO.me for more information. Stream TVO on your favourite device.

The Investigative Journalism Bureau is an impact-driven, collaborative newsroom based at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health. It brings together professional and student journalists, academics, graduate students and media organizations to tell deeply-reported stories in the public interest.

Media contacts:
Genevieve Grant, TVO | ggrant@tvo.org

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TVO Today's 'The Ultimate Choice' Podcast

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