Euthanasia

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Supreme Court hears arguments in euthanasia challenge

Supreme Court hears arguments in euthanasia challenge

Lawyer Hugh Scher of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition argued that no safeguards will protect vulnerable people from being killed. In 1993 the Supreme Court upheld the Criminal Code provision against assisted suicide in a 5-4 vote as it  refused Sue Rodriguez’s request to have medical assistance to be killed. Now, 21 years ... (Continue reading)

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Canadian bishops launch national campaign against euthanasia

Canadian bishops launch national campaign against euthanasia

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops have launched a national campaign against euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide as the country’s Supreme Court is expected to reconsider the issue in the near future. At the bishops’ plenary assembly in Beaupré, Quebec, this week, Bishop Noël Simard, chairman of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, announced the initiative, titled “National Campaign for Palliative Care and Home Care, and Against Euthanasia and Assisted ... (Continue reading)

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Federal court overturns Robert Latimer’s travel restrictions

Federal court overturns Robert Latimer’s travel restrictions

Robert Latimer Convicted child murderer Robert Latimer has won a federal court appeal of restrictions on travel outside of Canada placed on him by the National Parole Board. Federal Court Judge Michael Manson said in a ruling released Sept. 16 that the appeal board of the National Parole Board acted “unreasonably” when it denied Latimer’s request to travel outside Canada without obtaining pre-approval on a case by case basis. “The Board ... (Continue reading)

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Toronto hospital illegally imposed DNR order against wishes of dying man’s family

In a rare display of disagreement, the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board rejected a decision by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons and provided some Justice for the family of Douglas DeGuerre, who died on September 22, 2008, after doctors at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto unilaterally imposed a do not resuscitate order against the wishes of DeGuerre and his family. The Appeal and Review Board decided that: “Doctors at a major Toronto hospital violated the law by unilaterally imposing ... (Continue reading)

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In Carter Supreme Court should be bound by Rodriguez

In Carter Supreme Court should be bound by Rodriguez

Sue Rodriguez (left) and Lee Carter (right) In the 1993 Rodriguez case, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the constitutional validity of the ban on assisted suicide in section 241(b) of the Criminal Code. Since then, advocates of so-called death with dignity have made several failed attempts to legalize assisted suicide by means of a private-member’s bill; most recently in 2010, when the bill was thoroughly ... (Continue reading)

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Canadian Medical Association shifts euthanasia policy

Canadian Medical Association shifts euthanasia policy

The Canadian Medical Association held its annual conference in August, where members of the organization debated whether changes to its policy on euthanasia were necessary. According to the Globe and Mail’s health reporter, Andre Picard, the group’s position has not yet changed. However, the CMA now, “supports the right of all physicians, within the bounds of existing legislation, to follow their conscience when deciding whether to provide medical aid in dying.” Picard believes the new stance recognizes that “while assisting ... (Continue reading)

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Quebec euthanasia law challenged

On July 17, two groups, Living with Dignity and the Physicians’ Alliance Against Euthanasia, filed a lawsuit before the Superior Court of Quebec in Montreal challenging the validity of Bill 52, An Act Respecting End-of-Life Care. The Act, proposed by the Parti Quebecois government of Pauline Marois in 2013 and passed by the Liberal government of Philippe Couillard in June, provides for “medical aid in dying,” which they contend is a euphemism for euthanasia. Living with Dignity, which represents 17,000 Quebec ... (Continue reading)

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Schindler fights for vulnerable, nine years after sister’s death

Schindler fights for vulnerable, nine years after sister’s death

Terri (Schindler) Schiavo Nine years ago, most of North America was captivated by the legal drama surrounding Terri (Schindler) Schiavo. The Florida woman sustained severe brain injuries in 1990 after her brain was deprived of oxygen. As a result, Schiavo relied on a feeding tube for nutrition and hydration. Schiavo did not have a living will. Her estranged husband Michael, and parents Mary and Bob Schindler, became involved ... (Continue reading)

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Quebec Liberal government legalizes euthanasia

The Quebec National Assembly passed a bill that effectively legalizes euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide, a law pro-life groups say is dangerous and unconstitutional. With the March election call killing Quebec’s Bill 52, which would have effectively legalized euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide, pro-lifers, disabilities groups, and other opponents of the proposed law thought they had more time to work to defeat the bill. When the Parti Quebecois government was defeated by the Liberals, many opponents of euthanasia hoped the new provincial government ... (Continue reading)

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Conservative MP introduces two euthanasia bills

Conservative MP introduces two euthanasia bills

On March 27 MP Steven Fletcher (CPC, Charleswood–St. James–Assiniboia), who is a quadriplegic, tabled a pair of private members bills, C-581 and C-582, that would allow euthanasia and assisted-suicide in Canada. Considering that Fletcher is far down the order of precedence, at #240, it is unlikely his bill will be considered in the House of Commons before the October 2015 federal election, but Fletcher says his intention is to ... (Continue reading)

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Unsettled issues

On the question of euthanasia, the people have spoken. In 2010, the late Bloc MP, Francine Lalonde, made her third attempt to weaken Canada’s laws protecting the elderly and the infirm, and her bill was comfortably defeated by a vote in the House of 228 to 59. The will of the people could not be clearer. And yet, just four years after this firm rejection, the previous parliament’s decision is already being second-guessed: Steven Fletcher, the first quadriplegic MP to sit in the House, is bringing forth ... (Continue reading)

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Election scuttles Quebec euthanasia bill

A vote on the Parti Quebecois government’s Bill 52, the Quebec euthanasia bill, died when the Quebec National Assembly recessed on February 20 without voting and the provincial assembly was dissolved on March 5 with an election was called for April 7. Just days prior to the recess, Philippe Couillard, leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec, secured extra time for debate just before the budget was introduced. The budget superseded discussion on any other issue on the day before the ... (Continue reading)

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Death becomes us

Death becomes us

Years ago, while covering the case of Robert Latimer, the Saskatchewan farmer who killed his disabled daughter in cold blood, a columnist observed: “A society that believes in nothing can offer no argument even against death. A culture that has lost its faith in life cannot comprehend why it should be endured.” This incisive observation cuts to the heart of the contradiction in Canada’s current debate about euthanasia: when ... (Continue reading)

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Belgium legalizes euthanasia for children

Belgium legalizes euthanasia for children

On Feb. 13, Belgium became the first country to approve euthanasia for children when the Chamber of Representatives passed the measure 86-44 with 12 abstentions. The Senate voted 50-17 in favour of expanding the country’s 12-year-old euthanasia to include children last December. The measure, which permits any child with the “capacity of discernment” to request a lethal injection or concoction of barbiturate drugs with the consent of their parents, was ... (Continue reading)

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Vote on Bill 52 may be scuttled by Quebec politics

Vote on Bill 52 may be scuttled by Quebec politics

Proposed euthanasia law is ‘unconstitutional, imprecise and lethal’: EPC Quebec premier Pauline Marois may face an election before her governments's Bill-52 is passed. The Quebec legislature recessed for two weeks when the latest session of the National Assembly ended Feb. 20, which might help kill Bill 52, the so-called medical-aid-in-dying bill that would ... (Continue reading)

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