Assisted Suicide Is Likely to be Approved in Canada?

assisted suicideAssisted suicide is likely to be approved in Canada? According to the book, Physician-Assisted Suicide: What Are The Issues? On one hand physician-assisted suicide is inevitable and on the other moral arguments persist. According to CBC News, a paralyzed Conservative MP, Steven Fletcher, has scheduled two private members’ bills for the House of Commons (part of the Canadian government) on assisted suicide. One bill requests that doctors be allowed to help people end their lives under certain restrictions. The second bill seeks to set up a commission to monitor the system and review statistics on requests for assisted suicide. Fletcher has come forward saying that assisted suicide is inevitable in Canada.

The MP says this option would only be available to adults over 18, competent adults with a major illness or disability who have requested assisted suicide several times. These bills are an alternative to the current situation where the courts are supposed to make the decision. It is unlikely that he will see his bills debated in the house of commons as they fall far down on the list of priorities but he thinks it is important that they were tabled nonetheless. He goes on to say that the reality is, the issue will be decided by judges that are not voted in and are not held accountable.

In 2012 The Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled that laws against doctor-assisted suicide violate the rights of gravely ill patients. The federal government appealed that decision to uphold their ban. One B.C. civil liberties association appealed the ruling all way to Supreme Court, which agreed in January to revisit the case. Only one Supreme Court judge that sat on the bench remains, Beverly McLachlin, she is now chief justice and was one of the dissenters. Fletcher insists though that he has no idea what will happen, as the courts can be unpredictable. One thing is certain, people are getting desperate.

Assisted suicide is likely to be approved in Canada? In a CTV News report Fletcher said people are currently resorting to desperate measures to end their own lives including starving themselves. There are cases where doctors increase morphine drip to speed up the dying process but it is done “under the table.” A recent episode of Girls featured one character, Jessa who was hired by a paralyzed artist to help her commit suicide. Jessa, a drug addict, reluctantly acquired pills to help with the process. The artist who wanted to die said she woke up everyday disappointed that she did not pass in the night. What a difficult way to live. At the very last minute the artist changed her mind and Jessa called 911.

Assisted suicide is likely to be approved in Canada? It is very possible but still uncertain that the courts or parliament will implement measures to help these unfortunate souls. It is a sad but true reality that many people who have severe disabilities or are in end-of-life care suffering from cancer and other diseases do not wish to live. Many of them are trapped in their own bodies, unable to lift a finger for themselves and completely dependent on others. They are extremely unhappy and in many cases already at death’s door. One cannot help but feel sorry for them. It would be beneficial to allow the very worst cases to make the decision to end their own life for themselves, and to do it with dignity, surrounded by those that love them rather than illegally and “under the table.”

Opinion by: Nicole Drawc


CTV News
CBC News
Physician-Assisted Suicide: What Are the Issues?

One Response to "Assisted Suicide Is Likely to be Approved in Canada?"

  1. Earthman   March 31, 2014 at 4:02 am

    The only thing left to decide is how much the reigning government rakes in on death taxes.


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