Canadian lawyers want to expand “assisted dying” law

by Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press, 12 August 2016

A quick recap: in February 2015 the Canadian Supreme Court ruled in the Carter case that a blanket ban against assisted suicide was ‘unconstitutional’ because it was ‘too broad’. The Canadian Parliament could have overridden that ruling, but chose instead to pass legislation this year to allow ‘assisted dying’ for people whose “natural death has become reasonably foreseeable”. (Which is everyone, when you think about it.)

Ms Bryden reports that with the ink barely dry on the new law, advocates are already seeking to extend the scope of the law.

The Canadian Bar Association is urging the federal government to expand its restrictive new law on assisted dying, allowing mature minors, people suffering strictly from psychological illnesses and those diagnosed with competence-eroding conditions like dementia to get medical help to end their suffering.

Julia Lamb, a 25-year old British Columbian woman, and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association are now taking a case to the B.C. Supreme Court argue that the new law is unconstitutional “because it would not allow an assisted death for people, like Lamb, who are suffering but not near death.”

Slippery slope? Of course not.

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