May 25, 2024


A Canadian psychologist who brought a friend to an assisted suicide clinic in Zurich, where she killed herself, is being accused of serious professional misconduct. Peter Marshall declared in a letter to a newspaper that he had accompanied a disabled woman friend named Su” to a Dignitas clinic. She died in there in December 2004. Following this admission, another psychologist, Marty McKay, of Toronto, lodged a complaint with the Ontario College of Psychologists. When this was dismissed as “harassing and vexatious”, she appealed to the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board. A hearing was held last week.

McKay told the board that Marshall had brought his profession into “disrepute” because “his high stature and public support for killing disabled people can reasonably be expected to have an impact.” She also contended that the college failed to view her complaint as raising a “a public protection issue” because “after all, a woman is dead and members of the disabled community are reaching out to you, the board, to let you know they are personally afraid of what this means for them.” The board has reserved its decision.