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Thread: BC group sues to legalize euthanasia

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    Retired Sky Blocks Champion, Block Distraction Champion, Lock n Roll Champion, Flags Medium Champion, Flags Difficult Champion, Crazy Cube Champion Seraphima's Avatar
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    BC group sues to legalize euthanasia

    Nearly two decades after the country’s highest court ruled against a B.C. woman who wanted to be euthanized, another B.C. woman’s case has laid the groundwork for a challenge to Canada’s assisted-suicide laws.

    The B.C. Civil Liberties Association – along with a daughter who helped arrange her elderly mother’s death – announced the lawsuit at a news conference in downtown Vancouver Tuesday morning. In a notice of claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, the parties argued that Criminal Code provisions against physician-assisted death are unconstitutional because they deny individuals the right to control their physical, emotional and psychological dignity.

    ...

    In 1993, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled 5-4 against Sue Rodriguez, a B.C. woman who wanted to be euthanized before Lou Gehrig’s disease left her debilitated.

    Grace Pastine, the civil liberties association’s litigation director, said the time is right for the legal challenge. She noted assisted suicide is in effect in Washington, Oregon, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, and the practice is not quite as controversial as it was two decades ago.

    Ms. Pastine said mentally competent adults suffering from serious and incurable illness should have the right to medically assisted suicide under certain safeguards. Those include multiple doctor’s visits and assurances that the person making the choice to end their life is mentally competent.

    Although the case was filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Ms. Pastine said it’s likely it will end up at the Supreme Court of Canada.
    B.C. civil liberties group sues to legalize euthanasia in Canada - The Globe and Mail

    It's been awhile since anyone posted about euthanasia/physician-assisted suicide... thoughts?

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    Senior Member Dark Lion's Avatar
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    Excellent, now if only we can make it completely legal to kill yourself, no matter what, then we'll be doing something right. It's my life, no one has any right to force me to live if I do not want to. The only line I draw is forcing someone to do it, like making a doctor administer the lethal drugs to an ill or disabled person. If you can do it yourself, or have someone who is volunteering to do it, then government has no say in the matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphima View Post
    B.C. civil liberties group sues to legalize euthanasia in Canada - The Globe and Mail

    It's been awhile since anyone posted about euthanasia/physician-assisted suicide... thoughts?
    I have to consider the position my own parents took as they got older. They didn't take their own lives, but they wanted to be able to get medical help to do it if they desired. "Where is Dr. Kavorkian?" my mother would often say about a friend who was in great misery at the end of life. I've seen what Alzheimer's does to its victims, and I'm sure ALS and cancer are as bad. My mother told me about people she had known who were given strong pain killers. The Dr would say, "If you were too take that all at once, you would overdose and die. So be careful." And off he'd go.....

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    Senior Member Dark Lion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    I have to consider the position my own parents took as they got older. They didn't take their own lives, but they wanted to be able to get medical help to do it if they desired. "Where is Dr. Kavorkian?" my mother would often say about a friend who was in great misery at the end of life. I've seen what Alzheimer's does to its victims, and I'm sure ALS and cancer are as bad. My mother told me about people she had known who were given strong pain killers. The Dr would say, "If you were too take that all at once, you would overdose and die. So be careful." And off he'd go.....
    I too know what Alzheimer's can be like, when my great grandmother was diagnosed me and my mom moved from Florida to be her primary care givers. The worst part....is the visible decline. One day she knows you, the next week she doesn't, we had to hide medications because she'd forget she took them.....it's horrid. The worst part was when she was first diagnosed and she was lucid enough to know what it meant, she KNEW that's why she forgot things and was confused a lot. I could see the fear, and my grandma wasn't afraid of anything. I hope, that if I ever get that diagnosis, I'll have the freedom to end my life on my own terms and be competent enough to make that decision.

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    Retired Sky Blocks Champion, Block Distraction Champion, Lock n Roll Champion, Flags Medium Champion, Flags Difficult Champion, Crazy Cube Champion Seraphima's Avatar
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    I definitely agree physician-assisted suicide should be legal. Working in healthcare has given me a unique glimpse into the lives of very sick people. Needing a personal support worker/caregiver to do all personal care, (dressing/undressing, bathing, shaving, peri-care, mouth care, meal prep, cueing medications, etc.) is very rarely met without resistance. Once people lose the ability to care for themselves there is a loss of dignity in many. Some simply don't qualify and/or can't afford the care they need to stay at home but can't even fathom going to hospice or some other accomodation. They feel like a burden to those around them even if they aren't, (though truthfully, they usually are). I've seen firsthand as an outsider looking in what end of life care does to the client/patient and family. I bet many would have at least like the option of choosing when and how.

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    Senior Member Dark Lion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphima View Post
    I bet many would have at least like the option of choosing when and how.
    Exactly, I really don't understand why anyone would oppose this, all people are asking for is the choice.

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    Suicide is morally permissible - if often selfish and harmful to your loved ones - because you own yourself.

    Active euthanasia is morally impermissible, because every human being has an unalienable right to life. It is also a breach of the medical ethics principle of non-malfeasance.

    In other words, just because someone asks you to kill them, it does not make it justifiable to do so. In the same sense, if someone were to ask to be your slave, your property for the rest of their lives that is not a valid contract to be made, as it would violate their unalienable right.


    That said, "passive euthanasia" is different, as it is NOT performing interventions that the patient does NOT want you do to perform. This is wholly in line with the medical ethics principle of autonomy, and violates no one's rights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDubya View Post
    Suicide is morally permissible - if often selfish and harmful to your loved ones - because you own yourself.

    Active euthanasia is morally impermissible, because every human being has an unalienable right to life. It is also a breach of the medical ethics principle of non-malfeasance.

    In other words, just because someone asks you to kill them, it does not make it justifiable to do so. In the same sense, if someone were to ask to be your slave, your property for the rest of their lives that is not a valid contract to be made, as it would violate their unalienable right.


    That said, "passive euthanasia" is different, as it is NOT performing interventions that the patient does NOT want you do to perform. This is wholly in line with the medical ethics principle of autonomy, and violates no one's rights.
    What if a person is not capable of killing themselves but still wants to die. If I had ALS, I might very well prefer death at some point to a continued life of such low quality. Chances are, by the time I'd feel that ending things was appropriate, I wouldn't actually be capable of doing the deed solo. Is no intervention permissible then?

    Your position is based on a rather specific notion of 'harm.' If someone does not wish to live, is killing them 'harm?'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    Your position is based on a rather specific notion of 'harm.' If someone does not wish to live, is killing them 'harm?'
    To expand on that thought, if a person's life is wracked with pain with no hope of relief except death, is it wrong to deny them that release?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    What if a person is not capable of killing themselves but still wants to die. If I had ALS, I might very well prefer death at some point to a continued life of such low quality. Chances are, by the time I'd feel that ending things was appropriate, I wouldn't actually be capable of doing the deed solo. Is no intervention permissible then?
    No intervention is permissible. There's a double meaning there, however.

    If ALS-having-Rassales wants to die - he has made that wish clear - we should respect that autonomy and we should not be keep him alive against his wishes.

    And there's that double meaning. "No interventions." Offer palliation only and let the patient expire. That's not euthanasia. That's not killing anyone. That's not an ethical violation.

    Your position is based on a rather specific notion of 'harm.' If someone does not wish to live, is killing them 'harm?'
    Yes, definitively.

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