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Bid To Legalize Assisted Suicide Begins In B.C.

Canada’s laws against assisted suicide were on trial in B.C. Supreme Court Monday, when lawyers representing critically ill people argued they should have the right to choose when they die.

BC Civil Liberties Association lawyer Joe Arvay told the court that things are different from 18 years ago, when the Supreme Court of Canada rejected Sue Rodriguez’s plea for the right to seek a doctor’s help to end her life.

“Many things have changed,” Arvay told reporters outside the court.

“For one thing, we’ve had the experience of many jurisdictions that have allowed physician-assisted dying.”

Doctor-assisted suicide is now legal in several European countries and a handful of American states. The BCCLA lawsuit is spearheaded by 63-year-old Gloria Taylor, who suffers from ALS and says she does not want to spend the last days of her life paralyzed and in constant pain. The case was fast-tracked to make sure Taylor would be alive to see it through.

Wanda Morris, director of the organization Dying with Dignity, says she’s excited by the prospect of allowing assisted suicide in Canada.

Although helping other people kill themselves is illegal, suicide is not, and Morris says that means some critically ill people have chosen to take their own lives while they’re still relatively healthy and happy.

“We know that for many of those people, they’re having to go too early,” she said.

“We’ve seen individuals who have been suffering and the peace of mind that they’ve got [from committing suicide], and we’ve seen others who have missed the window, and the agony that they’ve got.”

Morris called Taylor a “hero for our ages,” noting that the dying woman has a 13-year-old granddaughter with whom she wants to spend as much time as possible before the end.

This is kinda creepy, especially if you want to be the one doing the assisting….

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