Montreal, February 6, 2015
The citizen network Living with Dignity and the Physicians' Alliance against Euthanasia acknowledge today's ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General). By stipulating that Kay Carter was within her rights to demand assisted suicide, and asking the Parliament of Canada to amend the Criminal Code to state that "medical aid in dying" is not a homicide, and therefore should not be penalized, the highest court in the land deeply upsets Canadian society.
"This decision of the Supreme Court contradicts the view of the European Court of Human Rights (Pretty v. United Kingdom) said Dr. Marc Beauchamp, president of Living with Dignity. Considering that the Court reaffirms the federal-provincial shared competence on these issues, we encourage parliamentarians to eventually frame in the strictest possible way any exceptions to prevent anyone from being unjustly euthanized without their consent and that such policies never come against access to proper medical care. To avoid abuse and extensions found in Belgium and the Netherlands, Canada must impose much stronger safeguards than those established in the laws and regulations of those countries."
Living with Dignity and the Physicians' Alliance against Euthanasia will continue to advocate for the protection of life and the inherent and inalienable dignity of people made vulnerable by illness, old age or disability. In solidarity, we will make sure to accompany them compassionately.
Sources: The citizen network Living with Dignity (http://vivredignite.org/en/) and the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia (http://collectifmedecins.org/en/).
For more information or to organize an interview, please contact:
Director General - Living with Dignity