BC judge fast tracks demand for assisted suicide by Lou Gehrig’s disease patient
VANCOUVER, Canada, August 4, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A British Columbia Supreme Court Justice agreed Wednesday to fast track the lawsuit of a Lou Gehrig’s disease sufferer seeking doctor-assisted suicide.
The lawsuit is one of two cases currently challenging Canada’s law against euthanasia and assisted suicide, over a year after a legislative bid to overturn the law suffered overwhelming defeat.
Gloria Taylor was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative condition in 2009. A B.C. Civil Liberties Association affidavit, which detailed Taylor’s medical conditions, states that Ms. Taylor was told in January of 2010 that she was likely to die within one year, reports The Globe and Mail.
Judge Lynn Smith has set the trial for November 15.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC), which is seeking intervention status in the Taylor court case, criticized the assisted-suicide lobby of abusing the court system after failing to win over lawmakers.
In April 2010, Canada’s parliament rejected a bill to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide by 228 to 59.
“The right to die lobby has decided to convince the court to legislate rather than to work in the political arena,” stated the coalition.
In addition to Taylor’s lawsuit, Smith is also hearing the second case seeking doctor-assisted suicide, which was launched by the Farewell Foundation For The Right To Die.
In 1993, Canada’s Supreme Court voted 5-4 against the right to assisted suicide in the Sue Rodriguez case.
Commenting on the Taylor case, Montana Catholic Conference executive director Moe Wosepka noted that it is “unfortunate that a few persons who do not care to live will fight to change laws that put so many other lives in jeopardy.”
“In many if not most cases,” Wosepka said, “the persons want comfort and to know someone cares.”
The issue at the heart of the push for legal doctor-assisted suicide, he continued, “is autonomy. Pain and suffering are merely covers for loss of autonomy.”
“They seem to say that ‘It is my body, and I can choose how to use it, and I can also choose when life for it should end,’” Wosepka concluded. “The tragedy is they consider their lives to be so void of value to themselves and others.”
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