On Friday, June 15, 2012; Justice Lynn Smith made a disturbing decision in the Carter case in British Columbia. Justice Smith decided to strike down Canada’s law prohibiting assisted suicide. She legalized euthanasia ... a form of murder. She suspended her decision for one year to force Parliament to fulfill her demands and gave Gloria Taylor, who has ALS, a constitutional exemption to be killed by euthanasia or assisted suicide within the year.
We need you to help us:
- urge Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to appeal the decision soon,
- ask Justice Minister Nicholson to seek an injunction on the constitutional exemption that was given to Gloria Taylor, and
- maintain a concerted effort in the media and within society by writing and responding to articles published in local and national media.
1. The Canadian government has made the prevention of elder abuse a national priority. Elder abuse is rarely reported and is usually done by someone who the abuser is dependent upon. If euthanasia and assisted suicide becomes legal, it will be the ultimate form of elder abuse.
2. Recently Parliament passed Bill C-300, an act respecting a Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention. In Oregon, where assisted suicide has been legal for 14 years, the suicide rate has been rising since 2000. The suicide rate in Oregon is now 35% higher than the national average. Legalizing assisted suicide has a suicide contagion effect.
3. Canada prohibited capital punishment based on the possibility that the death of an innocent person may occur. Euthanasia and assisted suicide may result in the deaths of people without request or consent. Canada needs to continue prohibiting euthanasia and assisted suicide.
4. Depression is a primary risk factor for requests for euthanasia or assisted suicide. Depression is a common response of people living with chronic conditions or terminal illness. It is not possible to safeguard depressed people from euthanasia or assisted suicide.
5. The Carter decision stated that prohibiting assisted suicide is an infringement upon the: right to life, liberty and security of the person, for people with disabilities. In fact the opposite is true. Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide will result in persons with disabilities losing their right to life, liberty and security of the person.
6. In April 2010, Parliament defeated Bill C-384, a bill that would have legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide by a vote of 228 to 59. Judges should respect the role of Parliament. Issues such as euthanasia and assisted suicide should be decided by Parliament.