@alitatecutler on TikTok
Model Ali Tate Cutler has been creating TikTok videos to document her grandmother’s plan to die by medical assistance.
The brave public documentation of Cutler’s grandmother’s decision to die by assisted suicide has led to important conversations about how we talk about and view death.
Cutler’s grandmother, referred to as Bubbie, has decided to take medically assisted death after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Euthanasia and assisted suicide have been legal for those over 18 and who are eligible in Canada since 2016.
Ali posted a TikTok of her taking her grandmother out to dinner for the last time, which now has over 12 million views and over 1 million likes. The caption reads "I have so many emotions right now but all I’m focused on right now is giving her the most memorable week."
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After gaining so much attention online, Ali and Bubbie decided to make a TikTok talking more about Bubbie’s decision to be euthanised. Bubbie told viewers "I came in quietly, I would like to go out quietly.: She added that she doesn’t even think about it every day, she just know it’s going to happen when it happens. She said "when I’ll be ready, I’ll know.:
Speaking to The Independent, Cutler shared that her grandmother "did not want to suffer in her final moments,” she added, “she decided that she wanted to go out in her own terms.’
Some have criticised Ali for publicising her grandma’s journey. But Ali responded to these comments in a TikTok saying: "I have always felt death was taboo and not talked about enough in the West. Death comes for us all. […] The video got 11 [million] people talking about death and maid. I would say this is one of the more useful cultural conversations on this app."
One user, Evie Solheim, took to Twitter saying" "‘y’all there is an Instagram influencer making cutesy videos about her grandma choosing MAiD (assisted suicide). I might throw my phone out the window."
\u201cY\u2019all there is an Instagram influencer making cutesy videos about her grandma choosing MAiD (assisted suicide). I might throw my phone out the window.\u201d— Evie Solheim (@Evie Solheim) 1684721706
Solheim, however, drew the brunt of the criticism for her comments. One user replied to Solheim saying: "I actually think that the best thing we can do for people who exercise their bodily autonomy by choosing a humane death." Another said: "this woman gets the rare opportunity to celebrate and document the legacy of her life on her terms, with her family by her side. What’s bleak about that?"
\u201ci took a \u2018folklore of death and dying\u2019 class in college and it really opened my eyes to the way the west views death.\n\nthis woman gets the rare opportunity to celebrate and document the legacy of her life on her terms, with her family by her side.\n\nwhat\u2019s bleak about that?\u201d— LAUREN ASH (@LAUREN ASH) 1684884073
\u201cI actually think that the best thing we can do for people who exercise their bodily autonomy by choosing a humane death, even if it makes us a little uncomfortable, is to trust that they have made the right decision for themselves and to celebrate them while they\u2019re still here.\u201d— Sarah McGonagall (@Sarah McGonagall) 1684896714
\u201cMaking your final chapter enjoyable and joyful w your granddaughter instead of rotting and dying on a hospice bed is not selfish or wrong. Cheers to this grandma and I hope the rest of her days are beautiful and painless!\u201d— mal (@mal) 1684866511
Cutler clarified talking to The Independent that the TikToks were ‘less of a statement on euthanasia and more a kind of being in awe of watching this person choose their own way out with dignity and with sovereign choice.’
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