The Right to Die: Gloria Taylor

We talk to Gloria Taylor, a Canadian woman who wants the BC Supreme Court to grant her the right to get a doctor to help her die. Gloria Taylor has late stage ALS, a fatal neurodegenerative disease also known as Lou Gehrig's disease and her constitutional challenge could redefine the laws around assisted suicide.

Today's guest host was Piya Chattopadhyay.

Part One of The Current


It's Wednesday, August 31st.

A new ad campaign running is pushing Canada's oil sands as an ethical alternative to fuel from countries with questionable human rights records.

Currently, the Alberta oil industry does, however, want to stress that countries with questionable human rights records like China are of course still very welcome to invest billions in oil sands development.

This is The Current.

The Right to Die: Gloria Taylor

Sue Rodriguez waged a very public fight to win the right to have someone help her end her life. She suffered from ALS ... a fatal neurodegenerative disease with no cure or treatment. And she took her battle to legalize assisted suicide all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. In the end, Sue Rodriguez lost that legal battle. But she did find an anonymous doctor willing to discreetly help her carry out her dying wish.

Rodriguez has been gone nearly 20 years now, but the debate over assisted suicide has hardly gone away. And this summer, a pair of British Columbia cases have once again put the issue front and centre. The Farewell Foundation for the Right to Die filed one case on behalf of some of its members in BC Supreme Court, arguing the Criminal Code section prohibiting assisted suicide is unconstitutional. The judge dismissed that case because the plaintiffs were anonymous.

But a second case challenging the assisted suicide law - this one filed by the BC Civil Liberties Association - is moving forward. In fact, it's being fast-tracked in BC Supreme Court due to the failing health of its plaintiff. Gloria Taylor has late stage ALS and she was at her home near Kelowna, B.C. And Grace Pastine is the Litigation Director for the BC Civil Liberties Association.

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