Supreme Court of Canada rules in favour of assisted-suicide

by jpd95 on Février 9, 2015 - 10:20pm

It is okay for people in an enormous amount of pain to bring their lives to an end with the help of a doctor.  Sean Fine of The Globe and Mail wrote on Friday, the sixth of February 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled, unanimously, that “the ‘sanctity of life’ also includes the ‘passage into death’ extends constitutional rights into a new realm”. 

The Court stated that people have a “constitutional right to autonomy over one’s death in some circumstances” and these circumstances include people that suffer “severely and irremediably” whether that pain is physical or psychological.  The Court also stated that people in an enormous amount of pain with no possible positive outcome have two options: taken their “own life prematurely” which is oftentimes done through violent or dangerous manners, or the person can decide to “suffer until [they] die from natural causes”; the Court went on to say that the choice is “ ‘cruel’”.

The Court suspended the ruling for a period of 12 months in order to “allow for new rules and laws to be drafted” but the nation’s capital “could choose to do nothing” which would “allow provinces and medical regulatory bodies to create the ground rules for assisted death”.  This ruling is not only restricted to those who are terminal, but also to those who suffer from a “ ‘grievous and irremediable medical condition’” which means that every Canadian who has a serious disability will have access to assisted suicide.  The ruling also says that the Court does “ ‘not agree that the existential formulation of the right to life requires an absolute prohibition on assistance in dying, or that individuals cannot ‘waive’ their right to life’” and that this ruling would insist on a “ ‘duty to live’”. 

As is to be expected when it comes to a ruling of this magnitude, there has been mixed reactions by Canadians all across the country.  Although, the majority of Canadians are in favour of this ruling.

I believe that the Supreme Court’s ruling is a good one, as I believe that the people have the right to make their own decisions when it comes to their own bodies.  The only downside to this ruling is that the government needs to be careful in implementing the new policies.  It could be very easy, if the government is not careful when they implement the new laws, for people who are sick and in pain to chose to die instead of going through a long and painful treatment.