It's about time. A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has upheld a terminally ill woman's right to physician-assisted suicide.
Justice Lynn Smith held the ban to be discriminatory and unconstitutional. The woman, who has late-stage ALS, was represented by veteran lawyer Joe Arvay.
"I describe the evidence and the legal arguments that have led me to conclude that the plaintiffs succeed in their challenge,” Smith wrote at the beginning of her 395-page ruling. “They succeed because the provisions unjustifiably infringe on the equality rights of Gloria Taylor and the rights of life, liberty and security of the person.”
One can merely guess how long it will take Harper to launch an appeal and force this woman through an agonizing, drawn out death.
No matter how you feel about this, and most of us come down strongly on one side or the other, you really should consider your views in light of Oregon's physician-assisted suicide legislation, the state's Death With Dignity Act. Oregon allows residents with advanced cases of terminal illness to apply to undergo a detailed process by which, after counselling and careful medical review, the person can obtain lethal medications for voluntary self-administration. The state's experience has found that many who obtain prescriptions for these medications either never fill the prescriptions or never take the end of life drugs. They merely die naturally free of the fear of having to endure unbearable pain.
You have to be diabolical to deny the terminally ill the right to die free of that grotesque fear.