Thaddeus Baklinski

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Petition campaign opposes euthanasia in lead-up to crucial Canadian court case

Thaddeus Baklinski

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, October 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After gaining intervener status in a crucial case relating to assisted suicide in Canada, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) has launched a petition campaign to stop any efforts to legalize euthanasia or assisted suicide through the courts in their tracks.

“Since the Carter case is likely to go to the Supreme Court of Canada the EPC has designed a petition campaign to the Attorney General of Canada (AG) supporting the AG’s strongest possible opposition to the legalization of euthanasia and/or assisted suicide in Canada,” Alex Schadenberg, the executive director of EPC, told LifeSiteNews,

“The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition provides this petition to enable all people in Canada to speak out in opposition to the attempt to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide through the courts. We strongly encourage you to print this petition (both sides) and have it signed by friends, family and members of your community,” Schadenberg said.

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.

This case will begin to be heard by Justice Lynne Smith of the BC Supreme Court on Monday, November 14, 2011.

Schadenberg said that the decision to grant EPC intervener status will enable the group to work towards “our mandate to preserve and enforce social, legal and medical safeguards prohibiting euthanasia and assisted suicide and promoting compassionate healthcare respectful of the lives, dignity and autonomy of vulnerable people.”

Dr. Will Johnston, chairman of EPC-British Columbia, observed that Carter vs. Attorney General of Canada is “entirely consistent” with a Supreme Court of Canada decision made in another case, where it was decided that Canada’s prohibition against assisted suicide was constitutional, “and served as a valuable safeguard to protect vulnerable citizens from the risk of serious abuse.”

“EPC-BC has an important role to play in educating the public and the court about the significant risks to safety, security and equality of seniors and people with disabilities in the context of the present legal challenge and will be at the court on the day that the trial begins,” said Dr. Johnston.

The EPC’s petition is available in two formats, a downloadable PDF format and an online petition. Both formats will be sent to the AG.

The printed petition is available in French and English and can be downloaded from the EPC website here.

The online petition is available here.



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