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Fighting for Hanne-bookcover

By: Mary Valentich

Fighting for Hanne

Pages: 198 Ratings:
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Hanne Schafer, 63, had just retired as a psychologist from her position in a mental health clinic. Youthful and energetic, she looked forward to engaging in more travel, socializing, hiking and ballroom dancing with her partner, Daniel Laurin. When Hanne received a devastating diagnosis, she asked Daniel and Mary, her long-time friends, for help in dealing with a grim reality. She asked them for the ‘unthinkable’.

How would you respond? What would help you deal with one obstacle after another?

This memoir, written from Mary’s perspective, is based primarily on Hanne’s emails to Mary over a three-year period. It details how Hanne, Daniel and Mary persisted in pursuing Hanne’s goal of remaining in charge of her life.

Canada passed assisted dying legislation in June 2016, but some obstacles still remain and impede a person’s choice to die with dignity. Further legislation is anticipated. Hanne’s receipt of a court-ordered exemption in February 2016 is one facet of Canada’s history of assisted dying. Telling Hanne’s story reflects our mutual desire to eliminate obstacles that others may encounter.

Mary Valentich is a Professor Emerita, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary. In her 50-year career, she has been a clinical social worker, educator, author, advocate, certified sex educator and sex therapist and a private practitioner.

Her professional interests include women’s issues, gender, feminist social work practice, sexist language, human sexuality, career management, acting assertively at work, dual/multiple client-professional relationships and assisted dying. She is a founding member of two sexual assault centres, an out-of-school program, and Calgary Social Workers for Social Justice.

She is unceasing in her pursuit of justice for individuals and groups experiencing discrimination.

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