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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
September 27, 2016
Canadian Excellence


1997: Anne Mullens

The information below is adapted from the news release issued in 1997

Timely Death: Considering Our Last Rights by Anne Mullens (Knopf Canada) is the winner of the 1997 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. Anne Mullen's thoughtful and well researched account of the right-to-die debate was considered by the panel of judges to be an outstanding example of the genre.

Timely Death: Considering Our Last Rights, by Anne Mullens informs us, moves us emotionally to greater sympathy with other people, and helps us to think our way to our own decision. This is a well-researched and comprehensive book, written with compassion and clarity. Debate over euthanasia is growing at a time when twentieth century medicine can keep us alive long past the point when life has any meaning.

Mullens, an Atkinson fellow in Public Policy, spent more than two years researching and writing the book, interviewing experts in the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Germany, the U.S. and Canada. She spent time with palliative care teams and held the hands of the dying. She interviewed more than 100 doctors, ethicists, lawyers, advocacy groups and lawmakers.

On its publication Timely Death garnered some outstanding reviews: June Callwood wrote "... Timely Death is a wonderful book. I didn't think I wanted to read it, but I will be forever grateful that I did." Dr. Gabor Mate, Palliative Care Unit of Vancouver Hospital feels "...Anne Mullens fair-minded and comprehensive reporting gives the reader an informed and intimate look at the issues and at the emotion-fraught situations involved in the right-to-die debate." London Free Press writer Gordon Sanderson said "...It offers a thoughtful and balanced look at the right-to-die debate.

Anne Mullens is an award winning journalist. Timely Death was developed in response to the enthusiastic reception given to her eight part series in the Toronto Star which appeared in the fall of 1994 and for which she received the 1993 Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy. For nine years she was the science and medicine specialist for the Vancouver Sun. She is the author of Missed Conceptions: Overcoming Infertility. She lives in Victoria with her husband and two children.

Other Publications by Anne Mullens:

  • Missed Conceptions: Overcoming Infertility (1990)

For more information visit Anne Mullens' website.

The shortlist for the 1997 Edna Staebler Award also included:

  • Starting from Porcupine by William Aide (Oberon);
  • An Acre of Time by Phil Jenkins (Macfarlane Walter & Ross);
  • Stony Ground: The Making of a Canadian Garden by Douglas Chambers (Knopf Canada).