Monday, June 18, 2012
My friend Dr Will Johnston on the decision in BC. I agree that it was the wrong decision , as I have previously said. Will Johnston: The wrong decision on assisted suicide Will Johnston, National Post Jun 18, 2012 – 4:23 PM ET On June 15, the British Columbia Supreme Court rendered a controversial judgment in the case of Carter vs. Canada, one that purports to create constitutional immunity for those who provide assistance to those seeking to kill themselves — a judgment that stands at odds with the Supreme Court of Canada’s Rodriguez ruling in 1993. The only saving grace is that doctors will not be scribbling lethal prescriptions any day soon: Current law will stand for at least a year (the sole exception being the plaintiff in this case, 64-year-old ALS patient Gloria Taylor). Let us hope that a higher court restores sanity to the issue before this 12-month period expires. Justice Lynn Smith determined that the ban against assisted suicide serves to discriminate against the disabled — and therefore runs afoul of the equality provisions in section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms — because it prevents disabled people from getting the help they may need to kill themselves. But the Charter is meant to defend us against violations perpetrated by the state, not abet self-inflicted injuries or death.