Lawrence Hill Shares Story of His Mother’s Life and Death in Globe and Mail


Author Lawrence Hill published an article about his mother Donna Mae Hill’s life and death in the Globe and Mail on June 1.

A professor in U of G’s School of English and Theatre Studies, Hill shared the intimate story of a final trip he took with his mother to Basel, Switzerland, where she ended her life on May 17 in a facility that enables assisted dying.

Hill explains that his mother had long wished to exit life on her own terms and that while travelling to Switzerland was not her first choice, she did not qualify for a physician-assisted death under Canadian law.

“My mother has always known what she wanted, and has never been afraid to advocate for it,” writes Hill. “I am proud of my mother’s courage and determination to die peacefully and beautifully, and proud that I helped her. For me, accompanying my mother on the last trip of her life – the only trip she ever asked of me – was the ultimate act of love.”

The story shares his mother’s history as well as the steps that led her to choose assisted dying.

Hill is the author of The Book of Negroes and The Illegal. He is a professor of creative writing at U of G.