Canadian Supreme Court Unanimously Rules to Allow Assisted Suicide Under ‘Limited Exceptions’

Canadian Supreme CourtOTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Friday that a law providing criminal penalties for those who take part in ending the life of another should be amended to allow “limited exceptions” for physician assisted suicide.

As previously reported, the court had been considering an appeal of a ruling from the British Columbia Court of Appeals, which overturned a lower court ruling allowing the practice of euthanasia. Gloria Taylor, a woman who suffered from ALS and has since died from an infection, was a co-complainant in the suit, asserting that laws against assisted suicide violated her rights, and were discriminatory toward those who were disabled.

“Every one who … aids or abets a person to commit suicide, whether suicide ensues or not, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years,” the Criminal Code of Canada reads.

The court was to rule on whether or not the statute applied to physician assisted suicide. On Friday, it concluded that some adults with terminal and “intolerable” conditions should be allowed to request assistance from their doctors in ending their lives.

“[W]e do not agree that the existential formulation of the right to life requires an absolute prohibition on assistance in dying, or that individuals cannot ‘waive’ their right to life. This would create a ‘duty to live,’ rather than a ‘right to life,'” the court said in regard to a complete ban on the practice, “and would call into question the legality of any consent to the withdrawal or refusal of lifesaving or life-sustaining treatment.”

​”An individual’s choice about the end of her life is entitled to respect,” it stated.

However, the court also ruled that doctors cannot be forced to participate in a patient’s death.

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“In our view, nothing in the declaration of invalidity which we propose to issue would compel physicians to provide assistance in dying,” it stated. “The declaration simply renders the criminal prohibition invalid.”

The court then gave lawmakers one year to make adjustments to the current law to create certain allowances for physician assisted suicide.

MP Steven Fletcher, who advocates for the practice, said that he believes specific language is necessary in order not to create a slippery slope.

“There does need to be some criminal code provision, I think, to prevent abuse,” he says. “I don’t want people, because they have a bad hair day, to get their car mechanic to take them down.”

But others expressed disappointment in the ruling altogether. The Institute of Marriage and Family said in a statement that it believed the court was paving the way for “suicide creep” in Canada.

“Furthermore, this decision will harm families, as we have noted in the past. What has been promoted as an individual right will have profound family and community effects,” it wrote. “Suffering can be alleviated through excellent palliative care, an area where Canadians are leaders in the field. Most Canadians currently do not have access to palliative care.”

Physician assisted suicide is currently legal in five states in America: Oregon, Washington, Montana, New Jersey and Vermont.

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  • Fundisi

    This world is in love with death. It has cast off the God of Life and has become a culture of death, they are this way because the prince of this world, their god, is the prince of death and destruction. Terrorism, wars, murdering babies in the tens of millions, murdering each other, murder/suicides and in it all, we are playing God. It will only get worse!

    • Spoob

      That is a remarkably unkind and unsympathetic position to be taking. If people who are going to die anyway wish to do it in such a way that does not prolong their suffering, why should they not be allowed to?

      • Fundisi

        You could never understand it, because you have rejected God as being the Lord over every part of your life. You condone every sort of sin, you too make yourself the god of your life and embrace a culture of death.

        • Spoob

          Yeah, you’re just making the usual windbag noises now. I never as long as I live want to “understand” things the way you do which usually involves taking the words of some insane conspiracy theorist to heart.

          • Fundisi

            So God is an insane conspiracy theorist to you?

          • Spoob

            No, I have told you many times that you do not speak for God. God would never in a million years get behind some of the crazy things you say. You have corrupted His word beyond recognition.

          • The Last Trump

            Oops, sorry! After I read your post I naturally assumed you were taking to me! 🙂 I forgot you have the very same problem with ALL of the Christians on this site. Your twisted brand of “Christianity” doesn’t even come close to the real thing so everybody else is crazy! Anyway, my mistake. As you were, “Booob”. Continue your work in converting Christians to apostasy. Better pack a lunch though. You have a loooong disappointing road ahead!

          • Spoob

            How’s it working out for you, as a “fisher of men,” as Christ called on us to be, getting people on board of your crazy hate cult which you are foolishly and hilariously referring to as “Christianity”? AS IF you would know what the “real thing” was. Keep those blinders on, Trumpy! You always know better than everyone else!

          • The Last Trump

            Says the Bible bashing, Christian hating, LGBT troll! Too funny, Booob! Too funny.

          • Spoob

            Bring it on, Trumpy. And when I say bring it on, I mean the facts. Here are the ACTUAL facts:

            1) I don’t bash the Bible, but unlike yourself neither do I insist there is only one way to understand it – no interpretation required, because you believe it was written in English. By God himself.
            2) I don’t hate Christians, but I do hate Christian supremacist fundies.
            3) I am not LGBT. My wife would be very interested to know that, how can she get in touch with you for a confirmation, since, you know, you know me better than she does?

            Too, as you say, funny, Trumpy.

          • The Last Trump

            Your “wife” better start reading your posts! He, I mean, “she”, also better start packing soon cause I think divorce might be in “her” immediate future eh? 😉
            You’re not the first confused “straight” person to destroy a marriage for some twisted gay fun! And you won’t be the last.

          • Spoob

            Right Trumpy, because a person can never stand up for simple basic human rights without being a closeted gay person. The “logic” you keep using is the reason nobody here thinks you are a real Christian.

          • Fundisi

            As you cannot defend by God’s Word your defense of homosexuality, Lesbianism, falsely call transsexuals and aborting innocent human beings in the womb. and admit you hate bible believing Christians you pejoratively label as “fundies,” you show that you are a practical atheist, for all practical purposes you do not believe in God, that you accuse Him of not carefully bringing His full revelation to man, so you are in no position spiritually or morally to lecture anyone on being fishers of men. You have proven beyond all doubt you are outside of Christ and an enemy of every lost soul on earth.

          • Spoob

            You cannot judge or attack homosexuals using God’s word, either. And I’m not the only one here who’s been telling you that.

            What’s false about calling someone transsexual? What else would you call them?

            I call fundies “fundies” because that’s what you are. You’re certainly not Christians. Nothing by your actions shows that you are in any way. Maybe if you were kinder and more Christ-like.

          • Fundisi

            I do not attack and judge homosexuals, I attack and judge homosexuality as being sin, because that is clearly, unequivocally declared sin in God’s Word, but you deny His Word and deny Him.

            I would call them mentally/eomotionally ill and needing rescue and help, not approval.

            You call them “fundies,” because as you admitted you hate them which is against God’s Word.

          • Spoob

            Well, science and mental health professionals say they aren’t ill, that they’re just fine, so why don’t you leave them alone? Clearly your Bible understanding is incorrect, and yet you cling to it.

            If you’re attacking homosexuality, you’re attacking homosexuals. If I attack left-handedness, I am attacking those who are left-handed. It makes no difference.

          • Fundisi

            You are a certifiable imbecile. There is no comparison between left handed people and those people that sin.

            Liberal science and liberal health care professionals are virtually all godless and a danger to society. More proof of your atheism is you placing these godless scientists above God’s Word.

          • Spoob

            “There is no comparison between left handed people and those people that sin.”

            For once you’ve said something that I agree with 100%. Now the part you need to get through your head is that homosexuality isn’t sin. It’s attraction and love, same as heterosexuality,

            Science and health care professionals are conservatives AND liberals. They aren’t dangerous to society, they are very necessary to society.

      • Harry Oh!

        How about abortion? If you endorse killing people at the end of their lives, why not at the beginning as well? This is where the line gets blurred and once you cross it, it opens up too many evil possibilities.

        • Spoob

          What kind of semantics game are you playing, exactly? I am not talking about ending the lives of the elderly, I’m talking about the terminally ill who live in constant pain and suffering.

  • Disqusdmnj

    Nobody should be expected to die a long, painful death. Choosing how you go is the ultimate freedom we should all be allowed, if we so choose. When we put down our sick pets, it’s an act of kindness and grace, painful as it is for us. To say that someone’s “plan” is to be in pain until they pass is a horrible thought.

    • Fundisi

      There is no reason for anyone to die in pain. There are a host of drugs that will ameliorate any pain. If that dosage required results in death, death was not the goal, but only removal of pain. When a doctor or hospice worker knowingly gives such a high dosage to cause death, then it is murder, if a person does it is is self murder.

      • Disqusdmnj

        Sure, ameliorating pain is what we should do for anyone terminal. But being allowed to make the decision to end one’s life under such circumstances is a fundamental right – our bodies and our minds are our own. And by no means should it be taken lightly – everything should be considered. Possible medical outcomes, family burdens, state of mind… everything. In that time, we are not beholden to the state or a deity, but to ourselves and our family. I believe it would be a decision very few would make, but for those who do, one has to imagine they’ve made the decision they truly believe is the best thing for them. No decision in life comes at such great a price.

        • Fundisi

          It is not a fundamental right to kill, to do murder, even self murder. It is destructive of any decent society. For Christians, we have a responsibility to warn them of the price of playing God and that instead of release from pain, they are deliberately sending themselves into a place of unimaginable pain and that pain without end – forever; and, we have a responsibility to discourage our nation to not encourage self-murder, to not treat life so cheaply, as we do in our mass murder of children. We dare no go down that road, because as someone else suggested, we can encourage people under great mental, emotional and physical stress to take that irreversible course, when they are not capable of a rational decision, even though godless liberals will insist they are capable. Further, as your own words suggest, it is an easy next step for the state, like through Obamacare death panels and godless physicians and other godless health care workers, to move towards such active euthanasia to blot out the lives of anyone we feel is a burden to society, of all ages.

          • Disqusdmnj

            Well, first let’s just get the whole “Obama Death Panels” cleared up. There are none. Period.

            There is a valid push to help people discuss what they want their end-of-life care to look like, because many people don’t want to think about it, and then someone else is tasked with that burden. It is not a death panel, it is taking control of your responsibilities under sound mind.

            Second, let me ask you about someone convicted of murder, with no question of innocence, and who is given the death penalty? Do you think the state has the “right” of executing someone?

          • Fundisi

            When the state directly and through insurance companies and health care providers make decisions about, let us say cancer treatment for a 90-year-old, to deny very expensive treatments because of age, they become a death panel. They make such denials all the time for a lot of patients, all based on costs and other factors. We do have death panels under Obamacare, ask the families of veterans whose loved ones have been denied life saving care in a timely manner

            Those who take a life, their life must be taken from them to discourage the taking of life. Liberals insist it is no deterrent, but it is to people of conscience or fear of the law and no matter, it is society saying we will not tolerate murdering others.

          • Disqusdmnj

            Well, I agree that insurance companies can, in fact, act as death panels. My wife’s father was a victim of his insurance company, plain and simple. That is a result of allowing profit and shareholder return to rule. You and I see eye to eye on that one!

            As for capital punishment, I don’t think people of conscience are going to commit murders in the first place, so they don’t need the deterrent. In countries where executions take place more regularly, they obviously still take place, meaning they’re not doing such a great job deterring there either. And while I’m a liberal/progressive (as if you didn’t know already!), the reason I’m personally against executions is because there’ve been too many cases of innocent people narrowly escaping the ultimate punishment, meaning there are others who didn’t… meaning we have – and will – execute innocent people, and that weighs on my conscience heavily. If someone is clearly, without a doubt, guilty, let them suffer the rest of their lives behind bars, and then if as you believe there is an afterlife, then those who commit murder will have their second punishment to deal with.

          • Fundisi

            As to Capital punishment, my position stands that anyone who takes a life in murder, must suffer the death penalty for their crimes. Yet, in our terribly flawed judicial system, I know that some times, in my opinion very, very infrequently, an innocent person may actually die. Nothing is perfect outside of Heaven, so if such errors become provable and frequent; and I mean objectively proven to be an error, not some legal technicality, then “the people” are obligated to force the State to remedy those things that cause these errors and if it cannot be made rare, then they should abolish the death penalty.

            Why should we pay the exorbitant amounts of money to house, feed, provide free health care, entertainment, free legal help and etc. to murderers? It might make more sense to return to a system that actually punishes them, that provides for basic needs in a humane manner, yes, but if they are denied most of those material and pleasurable things prisoners get today, which causes them not to fear incarceration, then I might find it more acceptable, but not the way it is today.

            When we do not execute murderers, when we treat them better than most poor people and coddle them, what kind of deterrent is that? By the way, how do you know that in those states and countries that do enforce capital punishment, that they are in fact not deterring them, how do you know there would not be many times more, other than liberal sociological thinking? Look at Singapore, they are brutal, from public canings to hangings, they punish criminals severely, even God forbid some that are innocent, but in such a way that their crime rates are quite low as compared to the rest of the world. I guarantee you no one of a criminal mindset wants to face their justice system.

            So you want to abolish the death penalty for your conscience sake? Okay, first get the people to support that change, not law makers, not judges; and then exact real, again humane, punishment for the rest of their lives. Make them know that escaping death does not mean escaping real punishment.

          • Disqusdmnj

            Kinda scary here, Fundi… I’m agreeing with much of what you’re saying! Except for the part about Singapore – apparently, while there are quite a few executions/hangings there, it doesn’t seem to be much of a deterrent, as I formerly surmised, as if it were, there shouldn’t be so many crimes warranting the death penalty:

            And no, obviously no one wants criminals to enjoy their lives behind bars, but I don’t think maximum security prisons where they wind up have such luxuries. Blue-collar and political crimes, minimum security prisons, sure, they seem to have such luxuries.

            There’s an excellent series on YouTube called “The Norden”, about how countries in Norway and the like treat criminals, practice religion, etc. I highly recommend you catch an episode or two. Portugal has turned around its drug problems in a very short period as well. It may enrage you because they don’t think like we as Americans, or you as a religious person, do, but the results of their social programs bear out the fact that what we do here isn’t working all that well, and what other countries are attempting are working much better. Granted, they are different peoples and different cultures, but it’s interesting to see that not all answers to big problems are so binary and clear-cut.

  • bowie1

    One advocate saw the ruling as supporting life, liberty and the the pursuit of happiness when in fact it seems more about death. Some handicapped opponents worried that it might be a threat to those who might not be able to speak for themselves and could be terminated without their informed consent. However, legislation still has to be worked out and Prime Minister Harper could overrule any decisions made.

  • John_33

    God already answered the moral issues concerning assisted suicide in II Samuel 1:1-16. There is no such thing as mercy killing for human beings. That’s simply a justification for murder.

    • dark477

      then I guess it’s murder. I’m cool with that.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Canada must regain its historic Christian values. Secularism always makes nations and individuals commit ultimately inhumane things.