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article imageHistoric judgement applauded by Dying With Dignity Special

By Moushumi Chakrabarty     Feb 6, 2015 in Politics
Over 80 percent of Canadians support the idea of physician-assisted death in the event of terminal and painful disease in a mentally competent person.
In a landmark judgment today, the Supreme Court ruled that the ban on assisted dying violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “Today is a day to celebrate. Tomorrow we will get back to work. Now that the Court has made its decision and recommendations, it is up to Parliament to enact a law that will follow the spirit of this decision. Just because we have a good and just decision does not mean that Parliament will draft and enact a good and just law. We intend to make sure they do. We hope that all people impacted by the decision, including physicians, nurses, the disabled community and Dying With Dignity, will be consulted by those people responsible for drafting the new law, “ said John Warren, Vice Chair of Dying With Dignity , a national charitable organization mandated to “helping people achieve quality in dying”.
Providing compassion and choice to competent Canadians who were looking at end of life options due to terrible suffering, all 9 judges voted unanimously to overturn the ban on physician assisted dying.
“End-of-life choice is very controversial in some societies and cultures and this controversy often stems from the strength of religions in those cultures. However, in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand it is now being discussed in many levels of society and most of the populations in those areas want what the Supreme Court has just given to Canadians. The percentage of popular support for the concept of physician assisted dying ranges from about 60% to well over 80%. It is the political leaders in many countries who are holding back on passing the required legislation.
We understand that some people have moral objections to physician assisted dying and we totally respect them. They are free to choose how they die; we just want to make our own choice. We do not believe that anyone has the right to extend or compound another person’s suffering,” he added.
In June 2014, Quebec passed Bill 52, allowing terminally ill patients to choose physician assisted death. According to Warren, “Bill 52 is due to be enacted by the end of 2015. The Attorney General had indicated that the government might challenge the Quebec bill on constitutional grounds. That seems, to me, to be very unlikely to happen in light of today’s decision.”
More about Dying, Death, Physician, Supreme court
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