"Assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia should be legally permitted for competent individuals who make a free and informed decision that their life is no longer worth living," says the report by the Royal Society of Canada's expert panel on end-of-life decision-making.
The report's release comes a day after a B.C. woman asked the B.C. Supreme Court to overturn Canada's laws and grant her the right to doctor-assisted suicide.
Originally posted Nov. 13: Gloria Taylor, 63, has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS and Lou Gehrig's disease. The fatal and incurable neurodegenerative disease progressively degrades muscle function, eventually leaving the patients paralyzed and unable to speak, swallow or breathe on their own.
Gloria Taylor says ALS is slowly killing her and she wants the right to decide when and how she will die. (CBC)Taylor says she wants her doctor to be able to help her end her life before she becomes incapacitated.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has intervener status in the case. The coalition's members say their lawyers will argue legalizing assisted suicide will lead to elder abuse.
Though Canada's Criminal Code considers it a legal offence to help someone commit suicide, three U.S. states and four European countries do allow it.
The Supreme Court of Canada last ruled on the right-to-die debate in 1993, when it denied Sue Rodriguez a doctor-assisted suicide. An anonymous doctor assisted Rodriguez with her suicide in 1994.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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