Court strikes down Canada’s ban on assisted suicide

Lifesite News 15 June 2012
The B.C. Supreme Court has ruled that Canada’s ban on assisted suicide is unconstitutional. Justice Lynn Smith issued a 395-page ruling in the Carter v. Canada case Friday morning, determining that the ban discriminates against the disabled. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, which intervened in the case, immediately urged the Crown to appeal Smith’s decision to the BC Court of Appeal and to seek an order that stays the effect of the decision until such time as that appeal is heard. Given that suicide is legal in Canada, Justice Smith argues that the ban violates the equality provision in section 15 of Canada’s Charter because it prevents the disabled from getting the help they may need to kill themselves. The case centres on Gloria Taylor, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS in 2009. Taylor says she does not currently wish to kill herself, but wants to have assurance that she could receive help to commit suicide in future. Justice Smith argues that the ban “perpetuates disadvantage” because it “is felt particularly acutely by persons such as Ms. Taylor, who are grievously and irremediably ill, physically disabled or soon to become so, mentally competent and who wish to have some control over their circumstances at the end of their lives.” Ironically, Justice Smith also argues that the ban violates the right to life under section 7 of the Charter because it could lead someone to commit suicide earlier than they might otherwise, while they are still physically able to do it themselves.


3 comments for “Court strikes down Canada’s ban on assisted suicide

  1. Rhona
    21 June 2012 at 5:06 pm

    I cannot believe the profound ignorance of the British Columbian Supreme Court! What about disability rights campaigners who oppose euthanasia because of the blatant disability cleansing views of the (thankfully) late Dr Kevorkian and others who consider the lives of the disabled ‘not worth living.’ Well, this nanna is (only just!) old enough to remember where that mentality leads- Hitler’s concentration camps, which started off as “Tiergarten 4.”

    Thank you Bob, my dear, for highlighting this. I wish I was able to come to the forum, but this infernal healing hip and an energetic grandchild (who I’m looking after while my daughter looks for work) mean that other things come first.

  2. Rhona
    23 June 2012 at 6:06 pm

Comments are closed.