‘Road to Mercy’ will cause viewers to pause and consider, not only where they stand on the subject of doctor-assisted death but if they’d consider it an option.”
—Greg David, TV, Eh?
Road to Mercy documents Canada’s journey into the furthest ethical frontier—a place where doctors are allowed to take a life and where society must decide on the circumstances under which they can. Through the stories of patients who seek medically assisted death and the committed physicians who agree to help them, the original one-hour documentary chronicles Canada’s first legal doctor-assisted deaths and peers into the extreme boundaries of this practice. Following stories in Canada and in Belgium, where assisted suicide has been legal for more than a decade, Road to Mercy reveals the moral and ethical quandaries at the heart of medical aid in dying.
After years of debate and lawsuits, medically assisted death is finally legal in Canada, following a decision by the Supreme Court to decriminalize it on February 6, 2015. This landmark ruling allows a doctor to help end their patient’s life when “consenting adults determine they cannot tolerate the physical or psychological suffering brought on by a severe, incurable illness, disease or disability.” The Supreme Court allowed the federal government 12 months, and then a four-month extension, to enact new legislation that upholds these fundamental human rights and amends the Criminal Code. Road to Mercy is a window on this historical period, between February 2015 and June 2016—after the Supreme Court ruling and before Canada’s first law on medical assistance in dying (MAID).
‘Road to Mercy’ explores ethical frontiers of doctor-assisted death.”
—Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press/The Toronto Star
Run time: 83 Minutes; Closed Captioned
Nadine Pequeneza is an award-winning producer, director and writer best known for her observational films offering unique access to character-driven stories about social justice. Her multiple nominations and awards include: a Canadian Screen Award for Best Writing in a Documentary, seven CSA and Gemini nominations, a Gold Hugo from the Chicago International Film Festival, a Golden Sheaf from the Yorkton Film Festival, and a Silver Gavel Award honourable mention from the American Bar Association.
As the founder of HitPlay Productions, established in 2010, Pequeneza has produced and directed the company’s feature documentary projects, including: Up In Arms, Inside Disaster, and Raising Cassidy. Her most recent documentary feature, 15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story, premiered in August 2014 on the award-winning PBS series POV and garnered one CSA win and three nominations: best directing, best writing and the Donald Brittain best social/political documentary.