Supreme Court strikes down Canada’s assisted suicide laws

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Supreme Court strikes down Canada’s assisted suicide laws

Post by Drache on Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:54 am

Canada’s high court has struck down the country’s laws against physician-assisted suicide.

That means it will no longer be against the law for a doctor to help someone who is terminally ill to end their lives – but the new rules won’t kick in for a year.

And it can only be done under several conditions.

In a unanimous 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court ruled the Criminal Code laws prohibiting physician-assisted death infringes Section 7 of the Charter, which states that everyone has right to life, liberty and security of the person.

“Here, the prohibition deprives some individuals of life, as it has the effects of forcing some individuals to take their own lives prematurely, for fear that they would be incapable of doing so when they reached the point where suffering was intolerable,” read the decision, which was written anonymously by the Court.

“The prohibition denies people in this situation the right to make decisions concerning their bodily integrity and medical care and thus trenches on their liberty. And by leaving them to endure intolerable suffering, it impinges on their security of the person.”

– The person must be a competent adult would clearly consents to the termination of life;

– The person must have a “grievous and irremediable” medical condition, which includes an illness, disease or disability;

– The medical condition must cause “endless suffering” that is intolerable to the person, although that suffering can be physical or psychological.

The court did not lay out guidelines for the process in determining these conditions, nor comment about Parliament’s role in the matter.

The government doesn’t have to respond but the two sections of the Criminal Code which prevent people from consenting to their own deaths or allow others to aid in their suicide become null in 12 months.

The Canadian Medical Association, which sets the guidelines for 80,000 doctors across the country, has -already spent the past year and a half preparing for the decision in event that the law was struck down.

CMA President Chris Simpson told Global News he hoped the association would be consulted in drafting new rules.

The court’s decision also confirmed that regulation over health care can be handled by both the provincial and federal government. Last year, Quebec passed its own medical aid in dying law.

It’s not the first time the Supreme Court has looked into the issue of assisted suicide. In 1993, the top court reviewed the case of Sue Rodriguez, who suffered from ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and wanted to end her own life. In a split decision, the court upheld the law.

In the new ruling, the court found the breadth of the Charter has changed since the early 1990s. It also said the social landscape has evolved, because assisted dying is permitted in other places such as Belgium, Switzerland, and Oregon.

Friday’s case was originally brought forward by two B.C. women, who have both since died, who wished to end their illnesses with medical help.

More to come.

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Re: Supreme Court strikes down Canada’s assisted suicide laws

Post by Cookie-Monster on Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:13 pm

It is about friggen time. It is absolutely disgusting to force a person to endure intolerable suffering.

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