Reaction to the striking down of Canada's assisted suicide law
The most commonly held opinion - and the one most agreed with - was that this is a good legal decision for the court.
- "People should have the right to decide to end their life and be able to do so in as dignified and pain-free a manner as possible," said Jean_Canuck.
- "I think the Justice has made a cogent decision, well backed by logic and compassion. Ending one's life is tragic, but to have disadvantaged those who wish to, but are incapable of doing so, is truly discriminatory. She has made the correct decision," said PeterF.
But our P.O.V. poll question on the topic had a different result. We asked "Should Canadians have the legal right to assisted suicide?" With over 5,500 people voting, nearly 76 per cent said No.
Some members of the Community felt that the justice in this case oversteps her bounds by striking down the law.
- "Such is the farce of usurping democracy with decisions by a group of political appointees. Whether I, personally, are for or against, is irrelevant. What is not irrelevant is the fact we are no longer controlled by democratically elected governments," said Randy D.
- "All I can say is slippery slope, and once again the liberally minded courts are making law in Canada, not Parliament," said meade21.
- "The courts did not make the constitution. It was created through the parliamentary system. As with any legislation created by Parliament, the courts are obligated to uphold the constitution as the law of the land," replied HereandNow..
Some opposed the decision on moral bounds.
- "I would rather suffer than allow people who love and care about me become stained by murder forever," said VoxSanitatis.
- "I think you miss the whole point here. That would be your choice and your right to make it. However, should you be able to dictate your feelings to others?" replied highbrae.
- "I was extremely dismayed by the B.C. Supreme Court's decision today. I believe people with diseases or conditions that require extreme medical intervention and/or personal support have the right to die, but not to be killed by someone else. I believe such a person has the right to refuse medical treatment if they are of sound mind, but if that means they will have a slower death than by an assisted suicide they must accept the consequences of choosing to refuse treatment. Assisted suicide is NOT treatment. I believe that dying is a part of living, and that we each have the right to live that part of our life out, and experience the letting go and letting other people look after us if that is the part of our process," said Daragh.
- "That is your belief and must be respected. But, with that due respect, perhaps you might reconsider whether you have any grounds to be imposing your belief on those who might disagree with you, and are not in a position to help themselves. The key issue here may not be your personal belief, but what that individual believes and wants," replied abashed.
There was also a discussion about whether assisted suicide violates medical ethics.
- "Last I checked, doctors take an oath to protect their patients. Killing them is not protecting them. The term "assisted suicide" is one of the greatest fallacies I've ever seen. If people can do it themselves, they should. Don't drag someone else into your choice to end your life. And any doctor that would be okay with that is NO doctor I want anywhere near me or my loved ones," said CJMills82.
- "The Hippocratic Oath states 'Do no harm.' The oath also states to help release a patient from pain. 'I will apply dietic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.' It should also be noted that most doctors don't take this particular oath anymore because it's antiquated in relation to current medicine," said Myojin.
- "From the Dr. Lasagna's modern (early 60's) Hippocratic Oath: 'Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. *But it may also be within my power to take a life*; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty.'" said Unexploded.
CBC Community member sbrown982 agreed with the final decision to strike down the law, but not the reasoning the justice use to reach her decision.
Thank you, as always, for following our coverage. Please feel free to comment on or challenge any of these points and continue the conversation below."I firmly believe that legal assisted suicide is the morally right, compassionate thing to do.
However, I find the argument used here to be ridiculous. Someone not being capable of doing something doesn't mean they are being discriminated against. It's just a fact of life.
In my opinion assisted suicide should be legal because:
- The government has no business telling people they have to live. It doesn't own other people's lives.
- NO ONE should be forced to undergo tremendous suffering. Not in the world we live in today when it is truly unnecessary. To deny the disabled the opportunity to control their own destiny is cruel, plain and simple.
- Making criminals out of people with enough compassion and courage to help people in desperate situations goes against the principles our country is supposed to stand for: it does not protect anyone, and in fact decreases the value of our country."
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