Anti-euthanasia group wins right to intervene in crucial Canadian case
LONDON, Ontario, October 17, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) has won the right to intervene in a case that, if decided the wrong way, would pave the way for euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada.
The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) launched the Carter/Taylor case last April claiming that Canada’s provisions against euthanasia and assisted suicide, as found in the Criminal code, are unconstitutional since they violate what they call the individual’s “right” to die.
The suit was launched on behalf of the family of Kay Carter, who died by assisted suicide at the Swiss Dignitas suicide center in January 2010, and Gloria Taylor, who lives with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
According to Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of EPC, the BCCLA is seeking to insert a new set of definitions into Canadian law.
“They define ‘Consensual Physician-Assisted Death’ as the administration of medication or other treatment that intentionally brings about a patient’s death by the act of a medical practitioner. This definition would clearly legalize euthanasia by consent.”
Schadenberg also worries, however, that the BCCLA confusion between ‘euthanasia’ and ‘assisted suicide’—calling both “physician-assisted death”—will lead to deaths “without request or consent.”
“In other jurisdictions, where this has been legalized, ‘safeguards’ have been an illusion at best,” said Schadenberg to LSN.
During their intervention in the case, which will take place November 14th, 2011, EPC will present what they call “clear evidence” that a change in the law will “expose vulnerable people to grave risk.”
“As The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, we are the experts on the issue. If they want to properly hear all sides, and if they want justice to be done, then they have to give us at least an opportunity to clarify what is going on,” said Schadenberg to LSN.
Schadenberg said that EPC’s primary position is that current Canadian laws are a “necessary safeguard to protect people with disabilities, the elderly and other vulnerable people from euthanasia and assisted suicide.”
“We want the judge to turn them [BCCLA] down and not strike down our laws,” he said.
The cost of intervention is steep. EPC is asking for financial support to help cover legal expenses for this case, which already includes affidavits from important experts and significant time from their lead lawyer as part of the preparation for the intervention.
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