B.C. judge makes assisted-suicide legal


petros
#1
A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has declared Canada's law against physician-assisted suicide unconstitutional.


Justice Lynn Smith called the law discriminatory, stating that since suicide itself is not illegal, the law against assisted suicide contravenes Section 15 of the Charter. The law, the judge said, does not guarantee equality to physically disabled people like Gloria Taylor, a B.C. woman with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), the same rights as able-bodied people who can take their own lives. However, Smith stipulates that her ruling only apply to "competent, fully informed, non-ambivalent adult persons who personally (not through a substituted decision-maker) request physician-assisted death, are free from coercion and undue influence and are not clinically depressed." "The impact of that distinction is felt particularly acutely by persons such as Ms. Taylor, who are grievously and irremediably ill, physically disabled or soon to become so, mentally competent and who wish to have some control over their circumstances at the end of their lives," Smith writes. "The distinction is discriminatory … because it perpetuates disadvantage."
 
SLM
+4
#2  Top Rated Post
I've never understood why we 'humanely' put down the cat and the dog "so they won't suffer" yet we insist that Grandma & Grandpa should live through the final stages of terminal cancer.

It's about freaking time!
 
wizard
-1
#3
... this is another sickening example of a special interest group -- canadian lawyers --making drastic unwanted changes to canadian law. the lawyers who brought this petition are not elected or even appointed by elected officials and they don't speak for the people of canada. they speak for the bar. period. we don't want the bar attempting to make these kinds of changes to the law on their own ...

... we like to think that doctors are exclusively involved in prolonging and saving lives, not ending them ...

... the idea that there is going to be a life-termination component to healthcare in canadian hospitals is extremely troubling and extremely disturbing ...
 
WLDB
+4
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post

I've never understood why we 'humanely' put down the cat and the dog "so they won't suffer" yet we insist that Grandma & Grandpa should live through the final stages of terminal cancer.

It's about freaking time!


I totally agree. My grandmother wanted it. She couldnt. Instead she wasted away mentally long before her body gave out. Dimentia.

I really hope this holds up and is available when Im either old or terminally ill. I may not use it, but Id like the option to be there.
 
SLM
+2
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by WLDB View Post

I totally agree. My grandmother wanted it. She couldnt. Instead she wasted away mentally long before her body gave out. Dimentia.

I really hope this holds up and is available when Im either old or terminally ill. I may not use it, but Id like the option to be there.

Absolutely. Basically when it gets to the point in the treatment process where the doctor's look at "just making you comfortable", then the patient should have the option, if he or she chooses it.

I've watched people die of cancer, it is horrific. No one should have to suffer like that.
 
wizard
-1
#6
... the judgment stinks ...

... and why bring the medical profession into it? do the doctors of canada even want the role of killing people? why not appoint some other body to do the killing and leave the doctors to simply saving and prolonging lives, not ending them?
 
MapleDog
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by wizard View Post

... the judgment stinks ...

... and why bring the medical profession into it? do the doctors of canada even want the role of killing people? why not appoint some other body to do the killing and leave the doctors to simply saving and prolonging lives, not ending them?

Doctors have been stretching the Hypocratic oath to its extreme limit,and beyond,which is in my opinion kinda cruel to those who suffer,even Hypocrate would have stopped a longtime before it was too much for the person.
 
WLDB
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by wizard View Post

... the judgment stinks ...

... and why bring the medical profession into it? do the doctors of canada even want the role of killing people? why not appoint some other body to do the killing and leave the doctors to simply saving and prolonging lives, not ending them?

The hippocratic oath is optional and isnt really binding. Its just a fun thing doctors keep around for sentimental reasons. In the US they take part in executions.

I imagine there are plenty of doctors who would like to relieve the pain of their patients-even if it means death. Dr. Kevorkian was one. Doctors have been practicing euthanasia for as long as the profession has existed. They've just had to hide it better in recent history.
 
Cliffy
+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by wizard View Post

... the judgment stinks ...

... and why bring the medical profession into it? do the doctors of canada even want the role of killing people? why not appoint some other body to do the killing and leave the doctors to simply saving and prolonging lives, not ending them?

You really do like to go against the grain, don't you. How is it humane to leave people to endure long painful deaths because of some antiquated notion that human life is somehow more sacred that any other.
 
SLM
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by wizard View Post

... the judgment stinks ...

... and why bring the medical profession into it? do the doctors of canada even want the role of killing people? why not appoint some other body to do the killing and leave the doctors to simply saving and prolonging lives, not ending them?

Who exactly do you propose for assuming the role if not doctors? Should we get plumbers to do it? Maybe electricians?
 
Cliffy
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post

Who exactly do you propose for assuming the role if not doctors? Should we get plumbers to do it? Maybe electricians?

Suicide used to be a capital offense until the 50s or 60s punishable by death. Ironic eh! "You are such a loser that you couldn't even do that right, so we'll do it for you." Yup, the good ol' days!

I know, we can use electricians and bring back the chair, then we can watch them do the funky chicken live on TV; the ultimate reality show. I bet that would make the Wizz piss his pants with glee.
 
SLM
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

Suicide used to be a capital offense until the 50s or 60s punishable by death. Ironic eh! "You are such a loser that you couldn't even do that right, so we'll do it for you." Yup, the good ol' days!

I know, we can use electricians and bring back the chair, then we can watch them do the funky chicken live on TV; the ultimate reality show. I bet that would make the Wizz piss his pants with glee.

That's exactly what someone with terminal cancer needs, the electric chair.

But it would show those damned lawyers!
 
WLDB
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

Suicide used to be a capital offense until the 50s or 60s punishable by death. Ironic eh! "You are such a loser that you couldn't even do that right, so we'll do it for you." Yup, the good ol' days!

I read a case of a man in Japan who couldnt bring himself to commit suicide but he wanted to die. So he killed someone to get the death sentence. It worked, but so far as I know he's still waiting. Strange form of suicide.
 
MapleDog
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

Suicide used to be a capital offense until the 50s or 60s punishable by death. Ironic eh! "You are such a loser that you couldn't even do that right, so we'll do it for you." Yup, the good ol' days!

I know, we can use electricians and bring back the chair, then we can watch them do the funky chicken live on TV; the ultimate reality show. I bet that would make the Wizz piss his pants with glee.

About death penalties/sentence,i remember hearing a guy was condemn to be hanged,but apparently he was so fat,they decided not to hang him(they didn't want to decapitate him)
 
taxslave
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post

That's exactly what someone with terminal cancer needs, the electric chair.

But it would show those damned lawyers!

I was thinking more of letting the lawyers sit in it. Just for $hits and giggles.

I have been to two suicides by vehicle. One woman used a dump truck the other used a grayhound bus. Not the nicest thing to do to the people in the other vehicles.
 
Kakato
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

I was thinking more of letting the lawyers sit in it. Just for $hits and giggles.

I have been to two suicides by vehicle. One woman used a dump truck the other used a grayhound bus. Not the nicest thing to do to the people in the other vehicles.


I hate graphs but this is interesting,im on the downward slope now untill 65 and then the stats dont look good.

Suicides and suicide rate, by sex and by age group
 
skookumchuck
#17
One can personally prepare themselves for exit. It is not rocket science to hoard enough drugs or even buy them, but to wait till the last minute when you are incapable is not kind to your family. Never mind putting the onus on society and your family just do it while you still can.
 
JLM
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Kakato View Post

I hate graphs but this is interesting,im on the downward slope now untill 65 and then the stats dont look good.

Suicides and suicide rate, by sex and by age group

If you can make it until 80 it looks like life starts to get easier then!
 
SLM
+1
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

I was thinking more of letting the lawyers sit in it. Just for $hits and giggles.

I don't even want to think of the thrill the whiz-kid would get out of that one.

Quote:

I have been to two suicides by vehicle. One woman used a dump truck the other used a grayhound bus. Not the nicest thing to do to the people in the other vehicles.

A member of the family who owned my office building decided to hang himself in the sub-basement of the building a couple of years ago. Not the nicest thing for the poor lady who was sent to find him for a staff meeting.

Quote: Originally Posted by skookumchuck View Post

One can personally prepare themselves for exit. It is not rocket science to hoard enough drugs or even buy them, but to wait till the last minute when you are incapable is not kind to your family. Never mind putting the onus on society and your family just do it while you still can.

Sometimes it's not all that cut and dried. I would like to think that I can pre-arrange my wishes so that, heaven forbid, I was ever on a feeding tube and vegetative and unable to do this for myself that easing the end could still be done. With the preventative barrier in place of no assisted suicides, the only options are to exist in a vegetative state or remove the feeding tube and let people starve to death. I don't care how you slice it, that's not a humane way to treat a loved one in my opinion.
 
Niflmir
+1
#20
This sounds exactly like the dutch model. Its about time. Nobody needs to suffer through the final stages of debilitating diseases without having such a choice.

Problems do occur; there are always some gray areas. Let us say I put in my will that I want to be euthanised if I ever suffer from so severe Alzheimer's that I do not recognize my own family. Problem with that is, you ask the individual who is basically no longer the same person if they want to die and they usually say no.
 
WLDB
+1
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Niflmir View Post


Problems do occur; there are always some gray areas. Let us say I put in my will that I want to be euthanised if I ever suffer from so severe Alzheimer's that I do not recognize my own family. Problem with that is, you ask the individual who is basically no longer the same person if they want to die and they usually say no.

In my opinion that person should be then kept alive. It should be done with consent. If the person changes their mind at any stage they should be allowed to.
 
JLM
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has declared Canada's law against physician-assisted suicide unconstitutional.


Justice Lynn Smith called the law discriminatory, stating that since suicide itself is not illegal, the law against assisted suicide contravenes Section 15 of the Charter.

This could turn into a very "slippery slope". There is no doubt SOME cases warrant it. An elderly person with A.L.S. comes close to fitting the criteria, as does an octogenian who has several organs shutting down. But a line has to be drawn somewhere. Do we accept that every doctor's knowledge is 100%? Should a relatively young person who is simply tired of on going operations and procedures qualify? It's a line once crossed there is no coming back.
 
skookumchuck
+1
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post

I don't even want to think of the thrill the whiz-kid would get out of that one.



A member of the family who owned my office building decided to hang himself in the sub-basement of the building a couple of years ago. Not the nicest thing for the poor lady who was sent to find him for a staff meeting.



Sometimes it's not all that cut and dried. I would like to think that I can pre-arrange my wishes so that, heaven forbid, I was ever on a feeding tube and vegetative and unable to do this for myself that easing the end could still be done. With the preventative barrier in place of no assisted suicides, the only options are to exist in a vegetative state or remove the feeding tube and let people starve to death. I don't care how you slice it, that's not a humane way to treat a loved one in my opinion.

I know it is not a cure all. But to take some personable responsibility is my take, hopefully one is not put in a position of being unable to due to sudden circumstances. In that case i have a DNR in my will. Now i may have to rethink some due to the new guidelines.

My brother was unlucky and lucky 10 years ago. He suffered from diabetes and looming kidney failure, he also had lost a leg to the diabetes the year before. In constant pain and fed up he elected to go on dialysis, then after one treatment refused further. They gave him 2 weeks and kept him full of morphine as he faded away.
Although devastated i very much respected his choice.
 
SLM
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by skookumchuck View Post

I know it is not a cure all. But to take some personable responsibility is my take, hopefully one is not put in a position of being unable to due to sudden circumstances. In that case i have a DNR in my will. Now i may have to rethink some due to the new guidelines.

Well a DNR and euthansia are two very different things. And if I'm not mistaken even having a DNR on file will not prevent resuscitation if someone 'panics' and calls an ambulance. I believe they are required to try to revive you. At least, that's what I've been told. Perhaps someone else knows more about it.

At any rate, I think this should be, and more than likely will be, the exception rather than the rule. I don't think this means everyone is going to rush out and get their spouse or sibling or best friend to help them off themselves. This is an excellent moment to, in fact, create legislation that allows for that option after all other options have been exhausted, or as a medically reasonable choice, and allocate just who may perform these services. Obviously the best choice would be a medical practitioner of some kind.

I'm not sure that stockpiling sleep pills and then leaving your body for the kids or your spouse to find is any better of a choice than having them have to make that decision in hospital. In fact it's probably worse.

This would be where living wills come into play.

But I do take your point as far as personal responsibility goes. The last thing we want to do is leave this open ended, we need to have appropriate legislation so we have the guidelines in place for how this can and will be done.
 
JLM
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by skookumchuck View Post

My brother was unlucky and lucky 10 years ago. He suffered from diabetes and looming kidney failure, he also had lost a leg to the diabetes the year before. In constant pain and fed up he elected to go on dialysis, then after one treatment refused further. They gave him 2 weeks and kept him full of morphine as he faded away.
Although devastated i very much respected his choice.

That is so sad, I have a nephew now in his early 30s who has had type 1 diabetes since age 8. Luckily he is doing well as he follows the prescribed routine to the letter. It is just such a bastard of a disease and sadly the current generation just isn't taking it seriously enough............if they'd only exercise more and be fussier about what they eat!

Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post

Well a DNR and euthansia are two very different things. And if I'm not mistaken even having a DNR on file will not prevent resuscitation if someone 'panics' and calls an ambulance. I believe they are required to try to revive you. At least, that's what I've been told. Perhaps someone else knows more about it.

As it should be, we just can't have random employees, making life ending decisions if they don't have all the facts.
 
skookumchuck
#26
I guess it will not matter what the decision is, there will be acrimony. Leaving it in the hands of doctors, probably the majority of which will be conflicted, will not solve the problem.
I think i will just do my own thing and stay away from the spotlight as i have never craved attention enough to be public about it and drag my family along to one more hurrah.
Will the long term implications include hired legal assassins? Will they be anonymous? Some will not and will revel in the notoriety like youtube attention wh*res. At one time "hangman" was mostly anonymous due to public perception, those days are gone.

Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

That is so sad, I have a nephew now in his early 30s who has had type 1 diabetes since age 8. Luckily he is doing well as he follows the prescribed routine to the letter. It is just such a bastard of a disease and sadly the current generation just isn't taking it seriously enough............if they'd only exercise more and be fussier about what they eat!



As it should be, we just can't have random employees, making life ending decisions if they don't have all the facts.

From the time we were young kids my brother had a powerful craving for sweets. In those days (late 50's early 60's) my mother would warn us that we could get "sugar diabetes" if we overdid it.

I remember too well, we would go Moose hunting for a couple days with the usual grub sacks, he would however, buy 10-12 chocolate bars and a dozen Cokes (they were 10-15 cents in those days), i would buy 2-3 as i also had and have a sweet tooth, not as bad as him, but was perhaps luckier when the genes were mixed. He was diagnosed at age 33, had a triple bypass at age 37 and passed at age 56, the only one in the family to suffer from it, but also the only one to have a terrible diet and remain overweight.
 

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