The case and the decision we now know as Carter v. Canada technically paved the way for the realization of the right to die with dignity in Canada after February 6, 2016. But behind the legalese and the obstacles still lying ahead, there are the people — the people who patiently wait but desperately need help to end their own intolerable suffering caused by grievous and irremediable medical conditions.
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- Related: B.C. government refuses to 'shine the way' on assisted dying
In Carter v. Canada, the person who gives her name to the case is Lee Carter. She and her husband, Hollis Johnson, plus Gloria Taylor — who suffered of ALS and died suddenly of an infection waiting for the outcome of the court case — were the plaintiffs in the case. In 2010, Carter took her 89-year-old mom, Kathleen or Kay, to Switzerland to end her life on her own terms. Kay suffered from spinal stenosis, which causes chronic pain and would make her unable to eat or use a bathroom by herself.
Lee discusses her mother's choice in a short documentary by DWD Canada supporter and visual storyteller Wendy Bancroft. In the three-minute piece, she also speaks out on why delays in implementing legal assisted dying is forcing patients into awful dilemmas, much in the same way the old law did her mother.
To hear her story, watch the video below: