Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Canadian civil liberties group seeks to legalize assisted suicide there

From All Headline News:

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association filed a lawsuit to challenge the country’s laws against assisted suicide on April 26. The group sought to have euthanasia legalized in Canada.

The association filed the lawsuit on behalf of Kay Carter, a Canadian who was forced to seek euthanasia in Switzerland. She had a disease that confined her to a wheelchair and would have left her totally paralyzed.

Carter’s family explained that Kay, 89, wanted to die with dignity after she reached a point that Kay could no longer move herself, eat by herself, became incontinent and totally relied on others for basic life functions.

The association argued that adults who are suffering from serious and incurable ailments should have the right to end their life, under certain safeguards. The safeguards include several visits to the doctor and assurance from the person making the choice that he or she is mentally competent.

Lee Carter, the daughter of Kay, joined the association in the lawsuit. Lee accompanied Kay to Switzerland in 2010 to seek euthanasia.

Grace Pastine, litigation director of the association, said it is time for Canada to review the issue almost 20 years after the Supreme Court of Canada decided against medically assisted suicide and such procedures being available in other countries.