Assisted Suicide

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Court upholds Latimer sentence

Saskatchewan farmer who killed his disabled daughter now looks to the Supreme Court to overturn his ten-year sentence. Robert Latimer’s conviction and jai sentence for the euthanasia killing of his disabled daughter, Tracy, has been upheld by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, but Latimer has been released from custody pending word on whether the Supreme Court of Canada will hear his appeal of the lower courts’ decisions. Three provincial appeal court judges ruled on July 18 that Robert Latimer was properly ... (Continue reading)

The back of the law will be broken, Promises Right to Die activist

The following message was downloaded from Deathnet, the computer bulletin board run by John Hofsess and the Right to Die Society. In the wake of the recently released Report by the Senate Special Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide…I have today sent email messages to the heads of five chapters of the Right to Die Society of Canada asking them to let me know within 48 hours if they are willing to become more deeply and actively involved in assisting in ... (Continue reading)

“The back of the law will be broken,” Promises Right to Die activist

The following message was downloaded from the Deathnet, the computer bulletin board run by John Hofsess and the Right to Die Society. “ In the wake of the recently released Report by the Senate Special Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide…I have today sent e-mail messages to the heads of five chapters of The Right to Die Society of Canada, asking them to let me know within 48 hours if they are willing to become more deeply  and actively  involved in ... (Continue reading)

The Voices that Shaped the Debate

During 1994, the Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide heard much evidence and many arguments from more than 120 individuals and groups, the clear majority of whom supported the current law. Sanctity of Life: Sanctity of life arguments featured prominently.  Some of these were specifically Christian in nature, some were Jewish, others appealed to Canadian tradition, while others appealed to reason alone.  Other argued that the right to life is the basis of all other rights and therefore there can be ... (Continue reading)

Coming up short

Seven senators sat in a committee in Ottawa for 15 months, hearing from 150 witnesses, reading over 300 briefs, only to conclude that the law is too harsh on those convicted of killing the terminally ill or disabled. No doubt there are many who will read those words and accuse The Interim of deliberately distorting a sensitive issue, of not showing compassion and understanding for those driven to desperate acts. Many will point to the senator’s unanimous championing of palliative care and ... (Continue reading)

Both sides label euthanasia report a “compromise”

In what well may be summed up as a typically Canadian compromise, the Senate Committee on euthanasia has managed to issue a report which pleases neither pro-life and disability-advocate groups, nor the pro-radicals. The Special Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide was sharply split, narrowly voting to recommend that both voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide remain illegal in Canada.  It was unanimous, however, in its view that those convicted of mercy killing crimes should receive lighter sentences.  It also agreed ... (Continue reading)

Dutch court lauds euthanasia doctor

No jail time for doctor convicted of murdering disabled child A Dutch doctor who ended the life of a handicapped child has been found guilty of murder. Incredibly, not only did the judge free him without sentence but even went so far as commending the doctor for his “integrity and courage.” This case was supposed to be a test of the controversial Dutch mercy killing law which allows doctors to end the life of a terminally ill patient if the patient ... (Continue reading)

Japan’s euthanasia guidelines

Japan has come up with a series of guidelines regulating euthanasia which does nothing but further confuse an already confusing issue.  The International Right to Life’s Weekly Review reports that in late March, the Yokohama District Court determined that euthanasia would be legally permissible “where a patient suffers unbearable physical pain, all measures to eliminate pain have been exhausted, death is inevitable and imminent, and the patient has given clear consent to end his life.”  If a patient cannot communicate ... (Continue reading)

Oregon’s Euthanasia Law Still Under Review

A law which would allow Oregon doctors to administer lethal doses to end the lives of terminally ill patients remains on hold. Last November, this law, which would have been the first of its kind in North America, was narrowly approved by Oregon voters. However concerned citizens, including National Right to Life, have challenged the law as unconstitutional, claiming that that it discriminates against the terminally ill. U.S. District judge Michael Hogan granted this group an injection ... (Continue reading)

Second euthanasia case hits N.S.

A second case of assisted  suicide is before the Nova Scotia courts.  It occurred in May 1994, a year after the Myers death, and has reached the preliminary inquiry stage. Thirty-five-year-old Brenda Ethel Barnes, a non-diabetic, died in hospital three days after receiving a dose of insulin.  Nurse Mary Jane Fogarty, 38, who calls herself Barnes’ best friend, is charged with providing the syringes and insulin, and writing the suicide note. Barnes, one of 11 children, was a hard worker ... (Continue reading)

Real fear haunts disabled

Groups stage rally to voice anger and fear over appeal of Saskatchewan man who killed his daughter On February 22, The Friends of Tracy Latimer called a press conference to tell the country that they were not happy with the ground-swell of sympathy that many Canadians were showing to Robert Latimer who last October ended the life of Tracy, his 12-year-old disabled daughter. A jury found Latimer guilty of second-degree murder and handed out a mandatory life sentence without a chance of ... (Continue reading)

No jail for N.S. “mercy-killers”

In the region’s first mercy killing case, Nova Scotia Supreme Court Judge Felix Cacchione ruled that Cheryl May Myers, 30, and her common-law husband Michael William Power, 35, “acted out of compassion, mercy and love.” They used a pillow to suffocate the woman’s father, 69-year-old Layton Elmer Myers, and received suspended sentences, three years’ probation and 150 hours of community service. Their major defence was that they were acting in accordance with the expressed wishes of Mr. Myers who, when diagnosed with ... (Continue reading)

Propaganda won the day in Oregon vote

Less-than-truthful euthanasia echoes tactics used in Roe v. Wade. When abortion activists campaigned successfully to legalize abortion in the United States in 1973, their figurehead, Jane Roe, lied about the facts of her pregnancy to the Supreme Court, claiming to be a rape victim. In 1994, a publicity campaign to persuade Oregon voters to approve a euthanasia law also used a “hard” case to sway public opinion.  An investigation by the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force (AETF) has discovered that the ... (Continue reading)

N.S. ruling sends wrong message

A suspended sentence for a Nova Scotia  woman convicted of aiding and abetting her friend’s suicide sends an ominous message across the country says the president of the province’s Campaign Life organization. Herm Wills of Campaign Life Nova Scotia said a suspended sentence on an assisted suicide conviction puts out word that “mercy killing” practitioners can now set up shop in the province. In October, Mary Jane Fogarty, 39, of Halifax was convicted of aiding the suicide of her friend Brenda Barnes, ... (Continue reading)

Yes, it’s murder

“Life is a precious gift.  It belongs to the person to whom it was given. . . Tray’s life was hers to make of it what she could.  My life is going to be astounding.” I think that everybody in Canada, who watches or reads the news, is aware of the stories of the deaths of two young Canadians.  Tracy Latimer, of Saskatoon, aged 12, was killed by her father and Ryan Wilkieson, aged 16, was killed by his mother who ... (Continue reading)

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