July 6, 2022

Assisted suicide could be decided in Canada’s Supreme Court

The hot-button issue of assisted suicide will probably end up in Canada’s Supreme Court.

The hot-button issue of assisted suicide will probably end up in Canada’s Supreme Court. Last year a judge of the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to deny a woman with ALS, Gloria Taylor, access to assisted suicide.

However, the Federal Government appealed the controversial ruling. This week in a 2-1 decision, the BC Court of Appeal ruled that there were no grounds to reverse the 1993 Rodriguez decision by the Supreme Court. The federal law banning assisted suicide still stands.

“We are a bit bloodied but we are certainly not bowed – and we are determined to seek leave to proceed to the Supreme Court of Canada,” a lawyer for the BC plaintiffs told the media. “The case is going to carry on on behalf of everybody out there who is in the position of a Sue Rodriguez or a Gloria Taylor.”

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are big issues in Canada at the moment. The Quebec legislature is currently considering a law which would allow assisted suicide. A potent posthumous plea was made on YouTube by Donald Low, a microbiologist who became famous in Canada a decade ago during Toronto’s SARS crisis. A quadriplegic conservative MP has backed it. 

Michael Cook
Creative commons
assisted suicide
Canada