Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Supreme Court must uphold legal protections for every Canadian.

Media Release

On October 15, the Supreme Court is hearing a case concerning Canada’s laws related to euthanasia and assisted suicide. Many Canadians are concerned about whether the laws designed to protect their lives will be upheld by the Supreme Court.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has intervened in this case at every level.

EPC legal counsel Hugh Scher states:
EPC is concerned about the safety, security and equality of people with disabilities and seniors, which is central to the protections set out under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and our Criminal Code.
EPC-BC chair Dr Will Johnston states:
The Supreme Court will consider this important public safety issue. The Court rejected assisted suicide and euthanasia in 1993 and prevented Canada from taking a wrong turn. In the 20 years since, human nature has not changed, our poor record of predicting the dying process has not changed, and vulnerable people are still at risk in our health care system. We are getting better at controlling symptoms, and we have seen the abuses of euthanasia in those few jurisdictions where this practice has become entrenched. 
Let us hope that by clarifying the issues, the Supreme Court once again confirms the Canadian rejection of suicide and direct killing of the sick, and that we stay the course by improving symptom control to all who need it.
EPC Executive Director, Alex Schadenberg stated:
The Supreme Court needs examine how decriminalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide will affect every Canadian. 
In other jurisdictions, euthanasia has expanded to include people with depression, people with psychiatric problems, people with dementia, teenagers and other incompetent people. 
The laws in other jurisdictions have also been abused. 
Canadian society needs to focus on how it cares for people in difficult circumstances, not how it could kill these people.
For further information contact:
  • Dr Will Johnston, (VancouverEPC-BC Chair: (604) 220-2042, willjohnston@shaw.ca
  • Alex Schadenberg, (LondonEPC Executive Director: (519) 851-1434, info@epcc.ca
EPC representatives at the Supreme Court:
  • Hugh Scher, EPC Legal Counsel: (416) 816-6115.
  • Taylor Hyatt, EPC member and disability activist: (613) 408-2906
  • Natasha Fernandes, EPC member and medical student: (613) 413-8811

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