Canada's Lifted Ban on Doctor-Assisted Suicide

by samp on February 10, 2015 - 6:53am

                The Supreme Court of Canada, in a unanimous decision, lifted the ban on assisted suicide for patients who are mentally competent to take decisions on their future. The decision was quite a surprise as the court changed its mind from a previous judgement contrasting their current approach. The ruling came after two women went in court in order to reverse the current law, which would enable them to die earlier and peacefully from their degenerative disease. In fact, one went in Switzerland in order to commit an assisted-suicide, while the other died during the process of the court decision-making. The new decision hopes to remove suffering from dying patients and reduce self-inflicted suicide of unpleasant nature.   The court battle should further go on as some associations clearly disagree with the judgement.

From a personal perspective, I had to see one of my family members died progressively from a mental degenerative disease. I`m quite sure the person wanted to die earlier before becoming a non-functional human being. However, laws are laws and even thinking about the assisted suicide options was unrealisable because of the court ban. Later on, the person didn`t clearly enjoy herself as she was unable to talk, eat and recognize its family. In this kind of environment, it is preferable to die as the person clearly suffers and would like being up there anyway. On the other hand, I firmly believe that if the person is currently on a degenerative state, and did not express his/her intention on the issue should not be allowed to die from a doctor-assisted suicide. In this sense, the law should not go further. I believe some people would want to see a family member die earlier to remove a burden on the family, which is not a valid reason such as allowing the person to die in a peaceful and self-reflected manner.



I agree with the assistance of death. I find that it is unfair that someone else should decide if you live or die while you suffer. I too was in a difficult situation like this over the past couple of months. I can sympathise how hard it can be to let go of someone but in the end it is not our choice to choose if he/she lives or dies, I can only imagine the suffering people go through every day of their lives, they’re exhausted and I’m sure they have been through enough. I think when put in a situation like this, the family holds on to hope and that they will come around, get better and don’t have to die, that they can keep trying. But after chronic pain and suffering enough is enough and it is better off to make the decision to prepare for death. Although I do not have a link to back up my point, my sympathy is enough for me because it is so hard to let go and it is only something you can experience personally to really understand.

I agree with your general point of view about assisted-suicide: one should remove the ban, but no more than that. Limits should be set. An organization called Death with Dignity National Center wants to provide an option for dying individuals and improve end-of-live treatments. I guess this kind of organization would help the person you are talking about in your post. Plus, this organization gives different solutions to the patients and families.
Link if you want to know more about it:

Assisted suicide has been a subject of ethical debate for a very long time and still is. I am surprised to learn that Canada made it legal for patients who have the mental capacity to decide whether or not they want to live. Since you mention that people suffering should be able to make their own choice about their life, you seem to be taking a teleological approach to this issue. The teleological theory considers the summum bonum, the end goal. When faced with an ethical dilemma, one following the teleological point of view would choose the action which would help obtain their end goal. This goal can be different for everyone and depends on the context. In the case of assisted suicide, personal happiness seems to be the goal referred to. Indeed, people suffering from any disease can be unhappy about their life condition. As most human beings have as one of their main interest their own well-being, making assisted suicide possible for patients who want to end their life before being unable to perform simple everyday tasks gives them the chance to choose their well-being. It is very hard for them to see themselves losing their autonomy knowing that their condition will not improve. Therefore, as teleology explains, the ends justify the means. By regulating the means (the way patients end their life), it is helping people reach their end without leading them to do so on their own.