Monday, July 9, 2012
How about the right to cry for help? Court ruling asserting a person’s right to assisted suicide reflects discriminatory attitudes toward the disabled
Sunday, July 1, 2012
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.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Canada will be known as the country where a Provincial Judge has more power than the Federal Government. "
* * *Dear Ms. Kerry-Lynne Findlay MP,
* * *Dear Ms. Kerry-Lynne Findlay MP,
I am angry and upset about Justice Lynn Smith's decision in the Carter case, giving Gloria Taylor the "right" to assisted suicide/euthanasia.
This erroneous and presumptuous decision by Justice Smith is a guarantee of elder abuse unto death. We already have a problem with elder abuse in Canada. I witnessed this firsthand with my mother, when, after a mild stroke, the relative holding power of attorney decided my mother would have no treatment. I sat by my mother's bedside in a Nova Scotia nursing home, unable to do anything except hold her hand while she suffered for six days, before finally succumbing to dehydration and starvation. If Justice Smith's decision is allowed to stand, there will be no need for inconvenienced or greedy relatives to wait for even this questionable medical procedure of withholding treatment.
It appears that Justice Smith holds herself above the Government of Canada. She has given our elected representatives, such as yourself, a year to comply with her decision to allow people to "help" kill other Canadians. This is the right to commit homicide. The Federal Government of Canada decided many years ago that Canada would not kill convicted murderers, even if they want to die, but now Justice Smith had deemed that we can kill other people who allegedly ask to be killed.
MP Findlay, the "right" to kill someone is not a decision for a Provincial Court Justice to make. If Justice Smith's decision is upheld, Canada will be a place of supreme irony. We will have the distinction of protecting the lives of convicted murders, while allowing our vulnerable elders and others to be subject to human error or deliberate murder. We will also be, I believe, unique as a nation: Canada will be known as the country where a Provincial Judge has more power than the Federal Government.
I look forward to your response on this matter.
Kate Kelly, B.A., B. Ed.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
This Report is from the Farewell Foundation for the Carter Case, December 16, 2011:
Zero-Tolerance for Wrongful Death
Joe Arvay submitted that Canada's closing argument amounts to a "zero-tolerance" policy because it says Parliament can't enact a law that "might create even the 'risk' that one person might die who should not have died." Arvay said Canada's counsel is "simply wrong" and clarified that Parliament could "leave the matter unregulated as a private matter between the physician and patient," but he hoped government would create some sort of law to regulate assisted death.
Justice Smith pointed out that Canada did not have capital punishment because of the risk that one wrongful death of an innocent person is too many. "What do you say to that?"
Mr. Arvay answered "Let us put to rest once and for all the complete red herring of capital punishment.. Canada says capital punishment was abolished 'precisely because even the best justice system in the world makes mistakes that, if capital punishment were an option, would result in the death of innocent individuals.' . It need hardly be mentioned that we can assume that everyone on death row wants to live and is being killed involuntarily. Involuntary death is not only not sought in this case, it is the polar opposite of what is sought in this case - the right to control one's own life and death."
Justice Smith seemed sceptical at Mr. Arvay's argument. She pointed out that some voluntary deaths may involve people who do not really mean to die. In answer, Arvay said that the risks had to be reconciled somehow, that we don't live in a totally risk free world and that the Court should look at the risks that are already inherent in the medical system every day. Arvay said that if Justice Smith chose to strike the law, the federal parliament had the option of crafting the best law humanely possible.
To view the entire report, go here: