Action Needed: BC Court Strikes Down Assisted-Suicide Ban
On Friday June 15th, the B.C. Supreme Court passed judgment on the Carter v. Canada Case. As Will Johnston, Chair of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of B.C., stated in a National Post opinion piece, the decision “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. …. 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)”.
Allowing euthanasia and assisted suicide in our country directly threatens the lives of people with disabilities as well other vulnerable people in our society, and opens up further avenues for elder abuse.
A recent press release from the Canadian Association for Community Living concerning the Carter case decision stated, “Our concern, therefore, is that rather than advancing equality rights for Canadians with disabilities, this ruling will have quite the opposite effect. We fear that by embedding in Canadian law the message that some forms of human life are less worth living, the historic disadvantages faced by Canadians with disabilities that the equality rights provisions of the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms were to address, will only be more deeply entrenched.”
We need you to raise awareness about the harms of legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide:
Sign this petition to the Attorney General of Canada, requesting that he adopts the strongest possible opposition to the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia
Read these talking points provided by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, and send letters to your local media outlets outlining your opposition to the court’s ruling as it is a recipe for elder abuse, and creates a slippery slope which discriminates against people with disabilities and leaves them at risk
Contact the Justice Minister, the Honourable Robert Nicholson, asking him to stay the Carter decision and appeal it to the BC Court of Appeal
Become educated on this issue by checking out some of these articles and resources.
We hope you will do all you can to make your voice known in this matter. Our society has ultimately failed if our solution to problems is to eliminate the sufferer, rather than find measures to alleviate their suffering.
“What does it mean to give informed consent to one’s own death?
Is it meaningful to say that we can appreciate and understand the nature and consequences of that decision, when that decision means that we will no longer be here?
Isn’t autonomy about the right to non-interference, in the name of protecting one’s integrity, not undermining it?
Doesn’t the right to self-determination only find meaning because we wish to lay claim to our future?”
~Michael Bach, Executive Vice-President,
Canadian Association for Community Living
Also, check out the personal, thought-provoking piece by NCLN’s Executive Director, a uOSFL alumnus.