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08/23/2014

Supreme Court of Canada – Assisted Suicide Oral Arguments on October 15

Lee Carter

On October 15, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear oral arguments in the case of Lee Carter, et al. v. Attorney General of Canada, et al.  Written  Factums of key parties are available here.

The plaintiffs were terminally ill patients seeking physician aid in dying.  Ms. Kay Carter and the applicant Ms. Gloria Taylor both suffered from intractable and progressive diseases and are now deceased. They had joined with the others in bringing a civil claim before the British Columbia Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Criminal Code provisions against assisted suicide and euthanasia, specifically ss. 14, 21(1)(b), 21(2), 22, 222(1)-222(5), and 241. They focused their case, however, on s. 241, which prohibits aiding another person to commit suicide. 


The plaintiffs succeeded at trial notwithstanding the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1993 decision in Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attorney General) that s. 241 did not infringe Charter rights. A majority of the Court of Appeal, however, allowed the Attorney General of Canada’s (“AGC”) appeal.


The questions to be addressed concern the Canadian  Charter of Rights (Right to life, Equality, Fundamental justice).  Specifically, 

  • Whether trial judge erred in distinguishing Rodriguez
  • Whether the Criminal Code provision prohibiting aiding person to commit suicide infringes the Charter
  • If so, whether such infringement is justifiable 



There are quite a number of interveners.  Their briefs/factums are due August 29. 

  • Attorney General of Ontario
  • Attorney General of Quebec
  • Attorney General of British Columbia
  • Council of Canadians with Disabilities and the Canadian Association for Community Living
  • Christian Legal Fellowship
  • Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network (the ‘Legal Network”) and the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (”HALCO”)
  • Association for Reformed Political Action Canada
  • Physicians’ Alliance Against Euthanasia
  • Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
  • Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada
  • Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians’ Societies
  • Dying with Dignity
  • Canadian Medical Association
  • Catholic Health Alliance of Canada
  • Criminal Lawyers’ Assocation (Ontario)
  • Farewell Foundation For The Right To Die
  • Association québécoise pour le droit de mourir dans la dignité
  • Canadian Civil Liberties Association
  • Catholic Civil Rights League
  • Faith and Freedom Alliance and Protection of Conscience Project
  • Alliance Of People With Disabilities Who Are Supportive of Legal Assisted Dying Society
  • Canadian Unitarian Council
  • Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Euthanasia Prevention Coalition – British Columbia
  • Advocates’ Society
  • David Asper Centre For Constitutional Rights

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope. Bookmark the permalink.

08/23/2014

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Decides…

I just finished reading a very dry book on organizational theory as applied to reproductive medicine. The book was a Swedish observational study evaluating the sociomaterial aspects of that subspecialty, particularly Swedish IVF clinics. While the book did not directly address ethical issues in reproductive medicine, it did note some of them in passing. One that caught my eye was issue of the choice of… // Read More »

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , , . Posted by Susan Haack. Bookmark the permalink.

08/23/2014

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , . Posted by PeterUbel.com. Bookmark the permalink.

08/22/2014

In Redesigned Room, Hospital Patients May Feel Better Already

[The New York Times] PLAINSBORO, N.J. — Can good design help heal the sick? The University Medical Center of Princeton realized several years ago that it had outgrown its old home and needed a new one. So the management decided to design a mock patient room. Medical staff members and patients were surveyed. Nurses and […]

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08/22/2014

Sagan the Quipster

In 1996, a man wrote to Carl Sagan asking him the distance to heaven. Sagan was a very public agnostic. He replied brilliantly: “Thanks for your letter. Nothing like the Christian notion of heaven has been found out to about … Continue reading

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , . Posted by PeterUbel.com. Bookmark the permalink.

08/22/2014

Responding to Ebola: Selected Commentaries on Key Ethical Questions

Susan Gilbert and Nancy Berlinger

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged . Posted by Susan Gilbert. Bookmark the permalink.

08/21/2014

Breast Cancer, BRCA Mutations, and Attitudes about PGD

If you knew you had a gene mutation that confers a high risk of cancer, would you use IVF and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to prevent passing on the mutation to your offspring? That is the question that cancer doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston put to 155 young women, still of childbearing potential, with breast cancer.  The doctors actually asked their patients… // Read More »

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , , . Posted by Jon Holmlund. Bookmark the permalink.

08/21/2014

Facebook and ‘Being Experimented Upon’

Following on my recent blog posting about the Facebook emotion-manipulation study, here’s a useful piece from The Atlantic: How Much Should You Know About How Facebook Works? The piece focuses on the ubiquity of constantly-tweaked algorithms in online services such as Google and Facebook. The algorithms such companies use today are quite different from the […]

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Chris MacDonald. Bookmark the permalink.

08/21/2014

Suicide and Terminal Diseases: A Personal Choice and Rational Approach

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

My spouse and I have an ongoing conversation, really more of an argument, about one end-of-life scenario. I have stated on several occasions that being in my middle-40s, if I was struck by a serious disease (usually the disease in the scenario is cancer) with a less than 50 percent chance of survival (remission), and a course of treatment that is prolonged and painful, then I would choose not to receive treatment. Instead, I would do a lot of traveling (if able), visit with friends (if able), and then die comfortably.

I say this as a healthy, able-bodied person and as he is quick to point out, I can’t know how I would feel if I’m ever in such a situation.…

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This entry was posted in End of Life Care, Featured Posts and tagged . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.

08/21/2014

Science Writing Prodigy

I’ve been teaching college for four years now, at a pretty darn good college. But I’m not sure I’ve seen student writing quite as good as this undergraduate writing sample: There is a wide yawning black infinity. In every direction … Continue reading

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , . Posted by PeterUbel.com. Bookmark the permalink.