Assisted suicide decision
Jun 15, 2012 / 11:39 am
A B.C. Supreme Court has ruled the laws banning doctor-assisted suicide are unconstitutional.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lynn Smith declared the laws invalid, but also suspended her ruling for one year to give Parliament time to draft legislation with her ruling in mind.
Smith also granted Gloria Taylor an exemption in her ruling, allowing the ailing West Kelowna, B.C., woman to seek a physician-assisted suicide during the period her ruling is suspended if she wants.
In a 395-page ruling, Smith says the provisions in the Charter of Rights unjustifiably infringe on Taylor's rights to life, liberty and security of persons.
She says the laws are discriminatory for those who are grievously ill or physically disabled who want to have some control over their circumstances at the end of their lives.
While Smith says risks exist to allowing doctor-assisted suicide, but they can be largely avoided through carefully-designed and well-monitored safeguards.
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