Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Responding to the disturbing decision by Justice Smith in the Carter Case

On Friday, June 15, 2012; Justice Lynn Smith made a disturbing decision in the Carter case in British Columbia. Justice Smith decided to strike down Canada’s law prohibiting assisted suicide. She legalized euthanasia ... a form of murder. She suspended her decision for one year to force Parliament to fulfill her demands and gave Gloria Taylor, who has ALS, a constitutional exemption to be killed by euthanasia or assisted suicide within the year.

We need you to help us:

  1. urge Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to appeal the decision soon, 
  2. ask Justice Minister Nicholson to seek an injunction on the constitutional exemption that was given to Gloria Taylor, and 
  3. maintain a concerted effort in the media and within society by writing and responding to articles published in local and national media.

Talking Points:

1.  The Canadian government has made the prevention of elder abuse a national priority. Elder abuse is rarely reported and is usually done by someone who the abuser is dependent upon. If euthanasia and assisted suicide becomes legal, it will be the ultimate form of elder abuse.

2.  Recently Parliament passed Bill C-300, an act respecting a Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention. In Oregon, where assisted suicide has been legal for 14 years, the suicide rate has been rising since 2000. The suicide rate in Oregon is now 35% higher than the national average. Legalizing assisted suicide has a suicide contagion effect.

3. Canada prohibited capital punishment based on the possibility that the death of an innocent person may occur. Euthanasia and assisted suicide may result in the deaths of people without request or consent. Canada needs to continue prohibiting euthanasia and assisted suicide.

4. Depression is a primary risk factor for requests for euthanasia or assisted suicide. Depression is a common response of people living with chronic conditions or terminal illness. It is not possible to safeguard depressed people from euthanasia or assisted suicide

5. The Carter decision stated that prohibiting assisted suicide is an infringement upon the: right to life, liberty and security of the person, for people with disabilities. In fact the opposite is true. Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide will result in persons with disabilities losing their right to life, liberty and security of the person.

6.  In April 2010, Parliament defeated Bill C-384, a bill that would have legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide by a vote of 228 to 59. Judges should respect the role of Parliament. Issues such as euthanasia and assisted suicide should be decided by Parliament.

8 comments: said...

From my take the judgment has to be with the issue of equality under the Constitution and nothing more. People that are disabled cannot commit suicide.

Anonymous said...

My comments are pure and simple. Your points are well taken and merit following up. However, what I see lacking is an invitation to pray. That the lady who is allowed to let herself be killed has likely been persuaded by others to believe that it is a good solution for her. This is the time to pray. For who..? For her..! Not only is it following biblical advice but also is it a good tactical approach.
For all I know with that support the Holy Spirit may help her change her mind.
Pol Zwart

Elizabeth said...

If euthanasia becomes an acceptable medical treatment it opens the door for abuse of the elderly, the very sick and the handicapped, no question. It's a quick solution and easy on the "caregivers" but for the patient it is irrevocable. With stressed out doctors and nurses, with an overburdened medicare system it is even more so open to abuse.
And many people have a confused idea of what euthanasia is and is not.

Anonymous said...

We have all kinds of programs to prevent suicide. We have urged the federal gov't to step up its support of those programs.
And now we should promote suicide for the terminally ill ? to prevent that is suposedly against the freedon of a person under the constituion ?
Since when has suicide been seen a a freedom and a right ? If it is, then why do we do so much to try to prevent it ? and if it is a right, then why do we medically treat persons who fail at their suicide attempts ? Shouldn't we just let them die, or help them die ?

And where do we go from there ??
Our society seems to be death bound... and that can only lead down one path, that of death, regardless of the situation...
Jill, Wpg.

Anonymous said...

My husband died of ALS at home. We decided that he would not go to a hospital on his last days just in case something like this happened. When euthanasia is made legal, which I hope not, it puts the most vunerable at risk. My husband died a peaceful death in his sleep without the fear that a doctor or nurse would stick a needle in him.
If a doctor is allowed to murder the weak and ill, that would be the end of civilization.

Peter Stocker said...

Having worked in extended care I have seen for myself greedy children (not many but some) , who resent paying for a parent that has dementia. The money was $800.00 - $1000.00 a month some years ago. These children of seniors see their parents estate whittled away by "care" which they don't value because they lack love themselves. This scenario is more common than people might realize. We cannot open the doors to doctor assisted suicide for this and many other reasons.

Theresa said...

I learned so much about life in being with my mother when she died. She received good palliative care and that was very important for everyone.

T. Ungar said...

Dear Honorable Minister,

As a resident of Family Medicine and future practitioner in the Province of British Columbia, I see it as one of my most cherished responsibilities to express to you my concern on behalf of my patients.

Undoubtedly, the Minister has been aware of recent alarming developments regarding physician-assisted suicide in our distant province, specifically, of the developments of the Carter Case of June 15th 2012. The purpose of my letter is to ask the Honorable Minister to appeal the decision soon, and also to seek an injunction on the constitutional exemption that was given to Gloria Taylor.

There are certainly many valid arguments in the treasury of Canadian consciences which would support such an action from the Honorable Minister. The move would protect the lives of the most vulnerable of our country, most specifically, those elderly individuals grappling with depression and suicidal thoughts at the end of their lives. Surely, such an action would fall in line with the government's firm commitments to the protection of the elderly, as most recently demonstrated by its commitment to the prevention of elderly abuse.

I thank the Minister in advance for his kind consideration regarding this matter on behalf of my patients and all fellow citizens concerned by the implications of these developments.


Tamas Ungar, M.D.