Saskatchewan

Latimer reacts to doctor-assisted suicide ruling

Robert Latimer, who was involved in one of Canada's most well-known right-to-die cases has reacted to the Supreme Court's latest landmark ruling

Controversial case returns to spotlight after Supreme Court decision

Robert Latimer was convicted of second-degree murder of his severely disabled daughter in 1993. (Kevin Frayer/ The Canadian Press)

One of the country's most famous cases of right-to-die — and one of its fiercest debates — played out in Saskatchewan over two decades ago.

Robert Latimer, a farmer in Wilkie, killed his severely disabled 12-year-old daughter Tracy in 1993. 

Latimer maintains his daughter was living a life of unmanagable pain with cerebral palsy. 

He was convicted of second-degree murder in 2001. After serving time in prison, he was granted parole in 2010 and now lives in Saskatchewan.

The Latimer case has been brought back into focus after the Supreme Court of Canada's landmark ruling on Friday. The court decided adults with grievous and irremediable medical conditions, can ask a doctor to help them end their lives. 

"I think it's an improvement," Latimer says. 

Maybe they're trying a little bit. It's almost as if there's a recognition of some people suffering whereas there never was before."

Latimer also said even with the ruling, popular opinion may not be settled in Canada. 

"It will never be, everybody says yes or everybody says no. It will always be out there," he said. 

The court has given Parliament one full year to respond with new legislation. 

Doctors will not be forced to engage in the practice of assisted suicide.

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