August 4, 2011
Justice Lynn Smith, a BC judge, has agreed to fast-track a challenge to Canada’s assisted suicide statute by the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) who are representing Gloria Taylor and the family of Kay Carter.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, (EPC) founded in 1998, is a unified coalition of groups and individuals dedicated to preventing the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide and promoting measures to ensure that everyone receives the necessary care to live with dignity.
EPC recognizes that people with ALS and other life-threatening and chronic conditions need excellent care but giving doctors the right to prescribe suicide is not the answer.
Last year, Canada’s parliament rejected a bill to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide by 228 to 59. It appears that the right to die lobby has decided to convince the court to legislate rather than to work in the political arena.
A study, published in the CMAJ (May 2010) found that 32% of the euthanasia deaths in Belgium were done without request or consent. Another study published in the BMJ (Oct 2010) found that only 52.8% of the euthanasia deaths in Belgium were reported.
We ask the question, how much collateral damage are Canadians willing to accept?
EPC supports providing the necessary care for people living with disabilities, chronic or life-threatening conditions. Negative social attitudes that exist toward people with disabilities and the growing scourge of elder abuse, indicates a greater threat to people who are made vulnerable by their life circumstances.
EPC is seeking intervention status in the BCCLA (Carter/Taylor) court case.
Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, EPC (London) (519) 851-1434.
Hugh Scher, legal Counsel, EPC (Toronto) (416) 969-1812
Rhonda Wiebe, Counsel of Canadians with Disabilities – Ending Life Ethics Committee (Winnipeg) (204) 779-4493
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition