Canadians Debate Physician-Assisted Suicide

Gloria Taylor, who suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease, won the right to die … to suspend the law banning physician-assisted suicide last week.

After two years of consultations and research the Dying with Dignity commission of the Quebec National Assembly has issued a new report recommending euthanasia.

The National Assembly stated that, “A quiet, painless death or the intentional putting to death of a person with an incurable or painful disease intended as an act of mercy..”

Two sides in the assisted-suicide debate remain worlds apart. An editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says it’s time the country has a broad national dialogue about whether to allow physician-assisted suicide.

What exactly are we talking about? The Wikepedia says, “Assisted suicide is the common term for actions by which an individual helps another person voluntarily bring about his or her own death. ‘Assistance’ may mean providing one with the means (drugs or equipment) to end one’s own life, but may extend to other actions.”

Back to Gloria Taylor, in B.C. Canada. Gloria is grateful for the ruling in B.C. that struck down Canada’s doctor-assisted suicide ban. Gloria says she’s grateful for the ruling, but she’s made no decisions on how her own life will end.

Gloria Taylor was among the plaintiffs in a case that resulted in last week’s ruling, which gave Parliament a year to fix the law but also gave Taylor an immediate exemption.

Taylor has addressed reporters for the first time since the ruling, saying the court’s judgment means Canadians will no longer be forced to endure painful, unbearable deaths.

Taylor says her own disease has been progressing, leaving her unable to walk or drive, limiting the use of her hands, and causing her voice to deteriorate. But she will wait to decide how her life will end.

Ottawa has yet to say whether it will appeal the ruling, but Taylor says she hopes the federal government accepts the court’s ruling and allows people like her to die with dignity.

The current waves of global public debate have been ongoing for decades, centering on legal, religious, and moral conceptions of “suicide” and a personal “right to death”.

Tell me what you think of the right to die.


About our Co-Founder: With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 53 years old, happily married with eight children and 17 grandchildren. Diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now having accepted and truly embraced her new reality, Linda has created She is dedicated to proving that joy can be chosen while living with Multiple Sclerosis. Linda specializes in helping others, especially those with MS attain the lifestyle, independence and happiness amid living with MS.

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