CBC produced a series of interviews to be aired over the while the media reports on the Supreme Court of Canada case that is examining the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. Today, CBC aired this program concerning the position of people with disabilities on the issues.
The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case concerning euthanasia and assisted suicide on Wednesday October 15.
The program features: Stephen Fletcher, the Conservative MP who is promoting two bills to decriminalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada, and Taylor Hyatt, a Carlton University student who lives with cerebral palsy.
The CBC program presents Hyatt's position in this manner:
Fletcher’s desire to improve access to physician-assisted suicide does not match the policies of groups such as the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. Fletcher’s stance also contradicts that of Taylor Hyatt, a 22-year-old student at Carleton University.
Hyatt, who is also a member of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. She worries pushing for physician-assisted suicide will affect society’s impression of people with disabilities, suggesting some will think people are "better off dead than disabled."
Hyatt said she there is a double standard when it comes to people with disabilities and physician-assisted suicide, and Fletcher’s bill would not help.
"It’s like you’re standing at the edge of a cliff … as an able-bodied person, the population will extend its hand to you to say, 'Here there’s help for you,'" Hyatt said. "I feel like for the disabled population, they’ll push you over."
The Council of Canadians with Disabilities and the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition are both intervening before the Supreme Court of Canada and are both asking the court to uphold Canada's current laws protecting Canadians from euthanasia and assisted suicide.