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  1. #1
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 08:49 AM
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    Default Canadian Supreme Court Rules that Canadians have the right to die

    Canada Court Strikes Down Ban on Aiding Patient Suicide
    New York Times
    By IAN AUSTENFEB. 6, 2015

    OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada on Friday struck down laws banning physician-assisted suicide for patients with “grievous and irremediable” medical conditions.

    The unanimous decision, which reverses the position taken by the court 22 years ago, came more quickly than expected and might become an issue in federal elections to be held this year.

    “The prohibition on physician-assisted dying infringes the right to life, liberty and security of the person in a manner that is not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice,” the court wrote, adding that an absolute ban was not needed to ensure that vulnerable people are not coerced “to commit suicide at a time of weakness.”

    The decision, which follows hearings last fall, comes at a time when Canadians are widely debating assisted dying. In June, Quebec passed legislation that would allow the practice starting at the end of this year. Until the Supreme Court ruling on Friday, that legislation seemed likely to be overturned under federal criminal law.

    Then, in August, the Canadian Medical Association altered its long-established opposition to doctors’ assisting in suicides. Its new policy allows physicians, within the bounds of laws, “to follow their conscience when deciding whether to provide medical aid in dying.” But some churches and some groups that advocate on behalf of disabled people urged the court not to revoke the law.

    “This is a sensitive issue for many Canadians, with deeply held beliefs on both sides,” Peter MacKay, the minister of justice, said in a statement on Friday. “We will study the decision and ensure all perspectives on this difficult issue are heard.”

    Steven Fletcher, a Conservative member of Parliament who was paralyzed in 1996 in an automobile accident, praised the court’s ruling.

    “It will allow people to live longer because they will have the peace of mind knowing that they won’t have a horrible death,” he told reporters at the Supreme Court, explaining that some patients kill themselves while they are still capable of doing so because they will not have the option later.

    The decision does not immediately allow physicians to assist patients in their deaths. Existing legislation and regulations will remain in place for one year to allow the federal government, which enforces criminal law, and provinces, which administer health care, to adopt new measures.

    Mr. Fletcher, who previously introduced a bill to allow assisted suicide, declined to speculate on the government’s next steps. His draft legislation was not formally supported by the government, making its chances of approval remote.

    The two women from British Columbia whose legal cases led to the court’s decision did not live to hear the verdict. Five years ago, one of those women, Kay Carter, who was suffering from a degenerative condition known as spinal stenosis, was taken to Switzerland, where assisted deaths are legal, to die. At the court, Lee Carter, her daughter, said the decision was “a huge victory for Canadians and a legacy for Kay.” The other woman whose case led to the decision, Gloria Taylor, died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2012.


    As is the Supreme Court’s custom in a significant unanimous decision, the authorship of the ruling was attributed to “The Court” rather than to an individual justice.

    Dr. Chris Simpson, the president of the medical association, said in a statement that his organization would work with governments to ensure that doctors would not be required to assist in patients’ deaths because of the ruling.

    “The C.M.A. supports physicians being able to follow their conscience in choosing whether to participate in medical aid in dying, and we note that the court quoted directed from our policy,” Dr. Simpson said in the statement.

    In 1993, the court upheld the laws against physician-assisted death in a case brought in British Columbia by Sue Rodriguez, who had Lou Gehrig’s disease. Despite that ruling, a physician, who has never been publicly identified, and a member of Parliament were present when Ms. Rodriguez killed herself a year later.

    In that decision, the court said that it feared that legalized assisted suicide could be abused at the expense of weak and vulnerable people. The decision Friday, however, suggested that the legal and medical systems had evolved to the point where a complete ban was not needed.

    “We agree with the trial judge that the risks associated with physician-assisted death can be limited through a carefully designed and monitored system of safeguards,” the court wrote

  2. #2
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 08:46 AM
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    The ruling makes me a little uncomfortable but they probably got it right.

  3. #3
    Eruption Arson's Avatar
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    I agree with that decision.

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    11.14.17 @ 06:38 PM
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    I've wanted this for.years, and wish it had come about before my brother's brain cancer diagnosis. Although I do have some concerns with some of the wording in the decision. Illness doesn't have to be terminal, just cause unbearable suffering, and can be physical or mental...

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    I completely agree with this decision. I think anyone should have the right to die if they so choose in a free country.

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  8. #6
    Eruption Arson's Avatar
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    cdnangel, that's heartbreaking. My best to your family and you.

  9. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    12.04.17 @ 04:15 PM
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    Absolutely the right - and most humane - decision. We don't let animals suffer - yet we expect human beings to tolerate all manner of torment, mental and physical.

    In my opinion, it is indefensible to stand by and watch people suffering unendurable agonies because we've signed up to some misplaced ideal that life MUST be continued at all costs, no matter how far the individual in question feels that theirs has become a hideous existence, rather than a life. The Hippocratic Oath declares "no harm" will be caused to patients - yet, sometimes, the pursuit of 'life at all costs' causes far more harm than allowing a person of sound mind to opt for a dignified death.

    I wish that the UK would follow suit.
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

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    "You spend the first part of your life trying to make your mark, and the second part just trying to cover up your tracks"... Weesfreewheelin, 2012

    "Life's too short to stuff a mushroom"... Shirley Conran, 1975

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    Thatcher, 1980


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  11. #8
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 08:49 AM
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    I never understood that as a society we accepted medicines role in preserving life thru extreme life support measures yet can't wrap our brains around the opposite...that many do not and cannot accept a prolonged death. Cases like Terri Schiavo, Jahi McMath (the young girl declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy went terribly wrong) or Marlise Munoz (a pregnant woman declare brain dead after a stroke, but kept on life support by the hospital due to her pregnancy) are so complicated because family beliefs, grief, religion and law all collide at the time of a persons passing

    We have living wills to help us make those decisions, but in so many cases the decisions we make are limited by the law. And with modern technology and medicines, few of us will die a sudden or quick death these days. For most of us it will be a process, not an event.

    It would be so much better for the individual and for the family to have this medical treatment available to them. To not have to face the fear of the end of our life or worry about the emotional or financial impacts of our illness and death upon our family. To take control of your own life by taking control of your own passing may not be the right thing for everyone but should be permitted for those who wish to pursue it.

    The fear of "death panels" that would be controlled by bureaucrats and insurance companies is a real threat tho and the legislation drawn should take a hard line on providing health care for those who do believe in miracles or are willing to pursue even the most extreme treatments.

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  13. #9
    Atomic Punk CaboChris's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 08:21 AM
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    Unfortunately, this is one of those issues where religion and selfishness comes into play.

    I watched my mom die in front me a few moths ago. They asked if I wanted the "full resuscitation". Meaning, keep trying and trying. I said yes, out of selfishness. It was obvious she wasn't coming back. What I THOUGHT was only 15 minutes, turned out to be 45. They got a pulse for about 3 minutes and then lost it. They were working hard! Out of breath, pumping on her chest. I finally
    said, let her go.

    We just can't let go and it's understandable but we must also have compassion.

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  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdnangel View Post
    I've wanted this for.years, and wish it had come about before my brother's brain cancer diagnosis. Although I do have some concerns with some of the wording in the decision. Illness doesn't have to be terminal, just cause unbearable suffering, and can be physical or mental...
    I'm so sorry you went through that with your brother. To me one of the most cruel forms of cancer. I lost a friend to stomach cancer which had spread. Just terrible enough, but an aunt had brain cancer, and it was just the most unnerving ordeals to witness.

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    Very sorry for your loss Chris. It's extremely hard, and you were just doing what is natural. I went through a similar thing with my dad. He survived, but I was so conflicted with what the right thing to do was. We actually went through the ordeal 7 times because of recurring infections, internal bleeds and kidney failure. We had to sign multiple DNR's because of the swings in his recovery.
    intense Rollercoaster of emotions.
    I still wonder to this day how he pulled through.

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  18. #12
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    A good decision.

  19. #13
    Atomic Punk CaboChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by we die young View Post
    Very sorry for your loss Chris. It's extremely hard, and you were just doing what is natural. I went through a similar thing with my dad. He survived, but I was so conflicted with what the right thing to do was. We actually went through the ordeal 7 times because of recurring infections, internal bleeds and kidney failure. We had to sign multiple DNR's because of the swings in his recovery.
    intense Rollercoaster of emotions.
    I still wonder to this day how he pulled through.
    Thanks.

    Damn. 7 times.

    That would have killed ME!

    Treasure him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaboChris View Post
    Thanks.

    Damn. 7 times.

    That would have killed ME!

    Treasure him.
    thanks man. Yeah....it was very touch and go. He had an abdominal aneurysm. The aorta. Was helping a friend move that day, and later at night he had unusual pain and neausea, and called 911, thought he was having a heart attack. That's what saved him. By the time the emergency crew got there he was already unconscious. When they figured out he was bleeding internally, they airlifted him to town.
    That night I got a frantic call from his girlfriend who was away on business.
    When I got to the hospital he was just coming out of surgery, but the doctor told me he most likely would not survive. He did, but yes....I heard that 6 more times. He has some minor paralysis in his hand, and leg, but other than that a full recovery.
    He's an amazingly tough old bugger!
    I'm so happy he made it, but the road back was very traumatic. He'd plateau and crash again.
    Very tough.

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  22. #15
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    Glad to hear about the decision.

    Now lets start with Justin Bieber

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