Doctor-assisted suicide case back in B.C. court Monday
Proceedings may be delayed, federal government to seek last-minute adjournment
Family members of a B.C. woman, who died of her illness while fighting to get doctor-assisted suicide decriminalized will be back in court on Monday to defend a B.C. Supreme Court decision that ruled in their favour.
In June 2012, a B.C. Supreme Court judge struck down the laws that make physician-assisted dying illegal in Canada.
The federal government is now appealing that decision, but the court proceedings — slated to start on Monday — may be delayed.
On Sunday, the federal government said it will seek a last minute adjournment because one of the lawyers on the government’s legal team is ill.
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association, which represented Gloria Taylor in her lawsuit, will argue that the case should be heard as soon as possible.
"These are issues that regular Canadians, families across the country are grappling with so I think there's a real public interest in this case," said B.C. Civil Liberties Association lawyer Grace Pastine.
Taylor died last October of complications from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Taylor’s sister and 85-year-old mother, Anne Fomenoff, will be in court on Monday. Meanwhile, people who support their cause will be holding a rally outside the court house on Homer Street at 9 a.m. PT.
"Gloria firmly believed and so do I that people who are seriously ill and incurably ill should be able to make the choice about how much suffering to endure based on their own beliefs and values," Fomenoff said.
"These deeply personal decisions should be made by the individuals who are suffering and not by the government."