Thursday, February 12, 2015

Canada's Supreme Court voids assisted suicide ban

Supreme Court strikes down assisted suicide ban | Toronto Star - Tonda MacCharles:

February 6, 2015 - "A historic and far-reaching decision of the Supreme Court of Canada declaring desperately suffering patients have a constitutional right to doctor-assisted suicide is set to reshape the agenda of Parliament if not the election this fall.

"The Conservative government that vowed never to reopen the question of assisted suicide is seeking to buy time in the wake of the bombshell ruling. Unanimous and unequivocal, the ruling will go down in the history books as Carter vs. Canada.

"It set out circumstances where the country’s top court said assisted suicide is constitutional — under a physician’s care, for consenting adults who determine they cannot tolerate the physical or psychological suffering brought on by a severe, incurable illness, disease or disability — a stunning reversal of the court’s 21-year-old ruling in the Sue Rodriguez case....

In the 9-0 judgment, the court declared the Criminal Code’s absolute ban on assisted suicide goes too far. Its attempt to protect the lives of 'vulnerable people' also prevents competent, consenting adults suffering 'grievous and irremediable medical conditions' from making core decisions about how they live and die, and so breaches three of the most basic rights: to life, liberty and security of the person, all enshrined in Sec. 7 of the Charter, and is not justified in a free democratic society."

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