Canada Legalizes Assisted Suicide; Brittany Maynard Would Be Proud

Patty Clark
Canada Supreme Court has overturned a ban, and has now legalized physician assisted suicide.

Assisted suicide ruling in Canada

The Canada Supreme Court has made a groundbreaking decision by legalizing physician-assisted suicide. They overturned a ban enacted in 1993 in a unanimous decision.

The Canadian Supreme Court addressed the case after a civil rights group sued on behalf of two women who had degenerative diseases. They have both since passed away.

The Court stated that the law denied people the right, “to make decisions concerning their bodily integrity and medical care.” It created a situation that allowed patients “to endure intolerable suffering.

This brings to memory the recent and emotional plea of Brittany Maynard, who moved to Oregon so she could take her own life after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Oregon is one of the few states that allows physician-assisted suicide in the United States.


Canada legalizes physician-assisted suicide

Obviously physician-assisted suicide is an uncomfortable and nuanced subject. Our human nature makes it so that we are always trying to find meaning, even through the pain and suffering of our lives. It’s what makes something intolerable seem worth it. But it also leads to forcing others to go through needless suffering.

Supreme Court legalizes doctor-assisted suicide

I am not unique when I say that I have had to watch older relatives suffer greatly for long periods of time with diseases that would never be cured. In our attempt to attach meaning and value to life, we create an overzealous fear of death, which is what literally everyone has to face eventually.

Canada did attach some imperative stipulations to the ruling. Patients must be competent adults who have irreversible medical conditions that cause them intense suffering. Also, physicians can’t be forced to assist someone’s suicide.

The Canadian government has 12 months to revisit and law and revise it if they choose.