Council of Canadians with Disabilities: Help To Live Not Die

By Alex Schadenberg, executive director
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
 
Editor’s note. The following is excerpted from a blog post at http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2012/12/council-of-canadians-with-disabilities.html

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) and the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) were granted joint intervener standing by the British Columbia (BC) Court of Appeal, yesterday, in the “Carter” case.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) and EPC-BC were also granted intervener standing by the BC Court of Appeal in the “Carter” case that will be heard by the BC Court of Appeal from March 4 – 8, 2013.

In the “Carter” case Justice Lynn Smith decided on June 15, 2012, that the law protecting Canadians from assisted suicide was unconstitutional because it deprived some people with disabilities equal access to suicide. Justice Smith also ordered Parliament to legalize a limited form of euthanasia and she gave Gloria Taylor, one of the plaintiffs, a constitutional exemption to die by euthanasia or assisted suicide.

Gloria Taylor has since died from natural causes on October 5, 2012.

On July 13, 2012, the Honorable Rob Nicholson, Attorney General of Canada, appealed the decision to the BC Court of Appeal. It is expected that the Carter case will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court of Canada. …

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities is a national human rights organization of people with disabilities working for an inclusive and accessible Canada. The Council of Canadians with Disabilities is the leading national organization of people with disabilities in Canada. …

In granting intervener standing to CCD/CACL Madam Justice Neilson recognized that some of the arguments are already being made by the Attorney General of Canada, but she stated:

“I am persuaded an important distinction lies in the fact these applicants present these arguments from the point of view of the disabled community, a segment of society that will be profoundly affected by the outcome of the appeal and whose perspective should be before the court.” …