Assisted suicide raises troubling questions

For anyone wondering why physician-hastened death makes disabled people feel vulnerable, wonder no more

Assisted suicide raises troubling questionsI like Stephen Fletcher. Our brief encounters, typically in airports or the occasional public event, are always friendly and cordial. It is hard not to admire him. Despite suffering from quadriplegia, he has found the strength to serve his country as a Member of Parliament, at various times holding appointments as Minister of State (Democratic…

Assisted suicide not the only response to suffering

It is false to equate suffering arising from disease, illness or disability with a loss of dignity

Assisted suicide not the only response to sufferingIt is eloquent, persuasive and based in law; it almost had me convinced that physician-assisted dying is the correct response to suffering. In the Carter decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a competent adult who consents to death, and has a “grievous and irremediable medical condition (including illness, disease or disability) that causes…

Canadians now have the human right to be killed

Supreme Court’s assisted-suicide decision a perversion of human rights

Canadians now have the human right to be killedOver the past week or so, the implications of the Supreme Court decision in the assisted suicide case have gradually been clarified. A commonsensical reading of the decision and some reflection on how the Supremes obfuscate the English language suggests an ethical and logical incoherence seldom achieved even by the ermine-clad lawyers who have made…

It’s time to talk about end of life

Most of us do not have the means of providing palliative care for our loved ones

It’s time to talk about end of lifeChoice now trumps life as Canada's political preference of, well, choice. For the first 149 years of our country’s existence, life had dignity and deserved the fullest protection of the law. But by this time next year, Parliament must codify the principle that the choice to take one's life is a greater good than life…

Dying badly a fact of life in Canada

A lack of proper palliative care could lead to increases in requests for assisted suicides

Dying badly a fact of life in CanadaA few days after the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the prohibition against doctor-assisted suicide, I received a note from a wonderful colleague of mine saying that her closest friend’s 53 year old son had just died of spinal cancer. Two weeks before his death he had visited his general practitioner, experiencing “terrible pain.” Despite…

Assisted suicide ruling changes Canada, forever

Legislating physician-assisted suicide is bound to be difficult, but there are ways to mitigate any adverse consequences

Assisted suicide ruling changes Canada, foreverThe Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous decision on assisted suicide last Friday means that, soon, doctors (and only doctors) may lawfully help competent adults, who are grievously and irremediably ill, to end their lives. Even though this litigation began in 2011 and is likely to cause less than 1 per cent of all Canadian deaths…
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