June 17, 2012

At Last

The decision in the Carter case in the BC Supreme Court has confirmed what Dying With Dignity has been striving for; the right to choose how we end our own lives.

At last! The law dealing with assisted suicide, that we inherited from the British 120 years ago, was struck down recently in the BC Supreme Court. Justice Lynn Smith found that the present law infringes on the rights to life, liberty and security of the person that are guaranteed to us under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. She noted that even the best palliative care cannot relieve all suffering and that some of the currently accepted medical practices are very similar to physician- assisted death. She confirmed that in European countries and in Oregon and Washington, where medically assisted dying has been legal for some years, the safeguards that are in place to prevent abuse of the weak and the vulnerable have been effective. This decision supports the recommendations made in the last few months and contained in the reports of both the Royal Society of Canada and of the National Assembly in Quebec. We now have three very thorough and diverse examinations of the question of medically assisted dying. They have all reached the same conclusion that now is the time for Canadians to have access to help and compassion when they need it most. .

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