Saturday, June 16, 2012

B.C Supreme Court judge rules ban on physician-assisted suicide is unconstitutional.

Judge Lynn Smith of the British Columbia Supreme court rule yesterday that a law that bans physician-assisted suicide is unconstitutional. The ruling resulted from five plaintiffs who sought to overturn the ban. One woman Gloria Taylor is suffering from ALS(Lou Gehrig's disease).

In her 395 page ruling the judge argued that parts of the Criminal Code that prohibit physician-assisted suicide “unjustifiably infringe the equality rights” of the plaintiffs. The ruling is suspended for one year giving parliament time to draft and consider new legislation. However, the judge allowed Gloria Taylor to go ahead with her plans but with certain conditions. Smith said: that the decision would apply only to“competent, fully informed, non-ambivalent adult persons who personally (not through a substituted decision-maker) request physician-assisted death, are free from coercion and undue influence and are not clinically depressed.”

The ruling is bound to be appealed. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition called the decision naive and said it would appeal. Clearly the judge tried to ensure that involuntary physician-assisted suicide would not be condoned.For more see this article.

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