The Canadian Press October 25, 2012 12:30 PM
VANCOUVER - The federal government says allowing doctor-assisted suicide demeans the value of life and puts vulnerable people at risk in moments of weakness.
Ottawa has filed its arguments in an appeal of a B.C. decision that struck down the prohibition on doctor-assisted suicide, arguing the trial judge was wrong to conclude the law is unconstitutional.
In documents filed with the B.C. Court of Appeal, the government says the law reflects a reasonable belief that allowing assisted suicide would put vulnerable people at risk of being coerced or even forced to end their lives.
The government says the law reflects Parliament's desire to discourage and prevent suicide in all cases, and it should be up to lawmakers, not the courts, to decide if that needs to change.
Ottawa argues the Supreme Court of Canada's 1993 decision upholding the law in a case involving Sue Rodriguez was final.
The B.C. case was launched by several plaintiffs, including Gloria Taylor, who won a constitutional exemption from the law but died earlier this month without resorting to assisted suicide.
Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Assisted+suicide+risky+allowing+demeans+value+life+federal+says/7447066/story.html#ixzz2AM32CGOR
By Margaret Dore
I am a lawyer in Washington State USA where assisted suicide is legal. I am also President of Choice is an Illusion, a nonprofit corporation opposed to assisted suicide.
In 2011, a study was released in Switzerland where assisted-suicide is legal. The study found that approximately 1 out of 5 family members or friends who were present at an assisted suicide were traumatized. They "experienced full or sub-sthreshold [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] related to the loss of a close person through assisted suicide."
This is consistent with what I have observed with clients whose parents have participated in the Washington/Oregon death with dignity acts. With one client, the doctor had suggested assisted-suicide to the parent. After that, one branch of the family wanted the parent to use the lethal dose, while the other did not. The parent spent much of his final days struggling over whether or not to kill himself. This was instead of making the best of the time that he had left. My client was also traumatized. In that case, the parent died a natural death.
With another case, it's unclear that the assisted-suicide death was voluntary. My client lives with that memory.
Legal assisted suicide is sold as a peaceful and loving death. It may be anything but.
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http://worldradio.ch/wrs/news/wrsnews/study-assisted-suicide-helpers-distressed.shtml?32735Thursday, October 4, 2012One in four people who accompany someone to commit assisted suicide suffer massive psychological distress, according to a new study by the University of Zurich.
Researchers at the university spoke to 85 people who went with a family member or close friend to an EXIT euthanasia clinic.
A quarter suffered from post traumatic stress disorder while 16 percent had depression. Five percent were found to have long-term grief.
The interviews were carried out one to two years after the assisted death of loved ones.
The results state that problems can surface 14 to 24 months later and that a death not from natural causes was a heavy burden for those who supported the deceased.
Although the research didn’t include a direct comparison with the effects of a natural death on a loved one, the study was compared to others.
This showed the researchers that post traumatic stress disorder was more common for people close to an assisted suicide case rather than a natural death.
The results have been published in the October issue of the journal European Psychiatry.
By Rochelle Baker, Abbotsford Times October 2, 2012
Abbotsford resident Kenneth Carr, formerly convicted in manslaughter in the death of a teenage girl who was found naked and strangled along train tracks in 1997, has been charged with counselling a person to commit suicide.
An Abbotsford man formerly convicted of manslaughter in the death of a teenage girl is now charged with counselling a person to commit suicide.
Kenneth William Carr, 53, was charged after a woman in her 40s with a history of depression showed up with a relative at the Abbotsford Police station on Thursday with ligature marks around her neck, said Const. Ian MacDonald.
"The family member observed the injuries on the woman's neck, and the victim told her a relatively new acquaintance had given her advice on how to commit suicide," said MacDonald.
"Bear in mind, this a woman who suffers from depression."
As part of the ensuing investigation, a search warrant was executed at Carr's home. Evidence gathered there suggests this may not have been the only time the offender has allegedly engaged in counselling or abetting a suicide, said MacDonald.
Yesterday, the Canadian Department of Justice filed evidence in Leblanc v. Canada, including the affidavit of Oregon doctor Ken Stevens. Therein, Dr. Stevens talks about his patient, Jeanette Hall. He also describes how with legal assisted suicide, the Oregon Health Plan steers patients to suicide. His affidavit concludes:
"The Oregon Health Plan is a government health plan administered by the State of Oregon. If assisted suicide is legalized in Canada, your government health plan could follow a similar pattern. If so, the plan will pay for a patient to die, but not to live."
Please find the full text of his affidavit below. To view a hard copy of his affidavit with supporting documentation, click here.