BC Supreme Court Legalizes Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

Editor’s note. The following was sent out today by Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, following a decision this morning written for the British Columbia Supreme Court by Justice Lynn Smith.

Dear Friends:

British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Lynn Smith

1. I have very bad news. Justice Lynn Smith released her decision at 11:30 am today in Vancouver. She has decided to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in her decision in the Carter v. AG Canada  case in British Columbia. (The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition—EPC–press release can be read here.)

In the next few days we will do a complete legal analysis of the 395 page decision.

EPC will seek to intervene in the Carter case at the BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

2. The Quebec government has established a legal committee to examine how they could allow euthanasia or assisted suicide in Quebec, even though they are prohibited by the federal Criminal Code. The Quebec government continues to ignore the fact that the majority of the 427 submissions to the Quebec Dying with Dignity Committee opposed the legalization of euthanasia and/or assisted suicide. Link to an article. 

3. EPC legal counsel went to the courthouse today to learn whether we have been granted intervener standing in the Leblanc case in Quebec. The Leblanc case seeks to legalize assisted suicide in Canada. The judge was sick and the decisions were delayed.

4. EPC was granted intervener standing in the Rasoulic case at the Supreme Court of Canada. The Rasouli case concerns the issue of whether doctors can unilaterally withdraw life-sustaining treatment without consent. The Rasouli case is scheduled to be heard in December 2012.

5. Good News: Another euthanasia bill in South Australia was defeated. Link to the article. The euthanasia bill was defeated even though Bob Such, the sponsor of the bill, attempted to pull a “fast one” by calling a quick vote. Congratulations to Paul Russell and his expert work with HOPE Australia.

6. There is a referendum in the Swiss Canton of Vaud this Sunday (June 17) asking whether or not Canton of Vaud must allow assisted suicide groups to work in the nursing homes. The Exit assisted suicide group has been pushing itself into Swiss nursing homes for several years. If this referendum passes, nursing homes will be forced to allow Exit to enter the home.

7. To counter the false ideas and intentional confusion, EPC has produced a pamphlet titled: Protecting People. Order the pamphlet by sending a donation of $25 for 100 copies (plus postage) or $100 for 500 copies (plus postage) for the pamphlet or by calling the office at: 1-877-439-3348

8. Today is elder abuse awareness day.

My trip to Zurich Switzerland was successful. I am speaking in Toronto and Guelph on Saturday June 16 and in Australia and New Zealand (June 20 – July 1). I will be available by email at: info@epcc.ca.