This article was published in the Calgary Herald on February 7, 2015.
By Licia Corbella
Mark this day of infamy down in your calendars. Remember it. Friday, February 6, 2015. Think of it as the tip of the stern deck on the Titanic, just as the bow end starts to sink. The orchestra is still playing. But eventually, the deck still above water becomes vertical, sweeping everyone — children, infants, everyone — down its slick slope.
This, of course, is the day that the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously to allow us to legally kill other people with a scratch of a pen and some barbiturates.
In the landmark 9-0 decision, the high court ruled that the Criminal Code provision against helping someone to commit suicide deprives people suffering from serious medical conditions the right to life, liberty and security of the person, as guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The ruling limits physician-assisted suicides to “a competent adult person who clearly consents to the termination of life and has a grievous and irremediable medical condition, including an illness, disease or disability, that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.”
The court also ruled that the nature of the suffering includes either physical or psychological pain, and that the person’s condition need not be terminal.