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Thread: Supreme Court Decision

  1. #1

    Default Supreme Court Decision

    In an historic ruling on Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the ban on doctor assisted suicide. The decision was unanimous.

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/supreme...cide-1.2223493


    The decision states that the current ban infringes on all three of the life, liberty, and security of person provisions in the Canadian Charter, and it does not limit physician assisted death to those with terminal illnesses.

    The court will leave it up to Parliament and provincial legislatures to come up with a comprehensive set of laws, but it laid out the parameters. Firstly, it would be legal only for competent adults who explicitly request or consent and not people who have been delegated their substitute decision makers. This would seem to address the concerns of substitute decision makers making decisions for people who don't have competence.

    It was surprising to me that the illness does not have to be terminal, it can be chronic. The legislation would apply to incurable illnesses that are 'grievous and remedial causing enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual.'

    According to the court, doctors should be capable of assessing whether the person is competent and that risks associated with doctor assisted suicide can be limited through a carefully designed and monitored system of safeguards which can be put in place to protect the vulnerable from 'abuse or error.' In addition, doctors would not be compelled to provide assistance in dying.


    One of the applicants at the heart of the case, the late Gloria Taylor had stated:

    'I do not want my life to end violently. I do not want it to be traumatic for my family members. What I fear is a death that negates, as opposed to concludes my life. I do not want to die slowly, piece by piece. I do not want to waste away unconscious in a hospital bed. I do not want to die wracked in pain.'


    OPINIONS?

    So what are your thoughts on this ruling? In my opinion, the Supreme Court of Canada has made a decision that comes down on the side of compassion. I believe the debate over 'dying with dignity' is not the issue; dignity is a subjective term on both sides, since some consider losing control of their bodies and minds undignified, while others may see it as a courageous and defiant way to go. I am also not convinced the legislation would devalue the rights of the disabled. Stephen Fletcher, a Conservative MP who is a quadriplegic, stated 'I'm disabled. I'm as disabled as you can get. But I don't think my life is going to be diminished because, in the hospital down the street, there's less suffering.'

    To me, the heart of the debate is whether we believe people suffering from horrible conditions the rest of us can't understand or imagine or fully appreciate, should have the right to end their suffering in a humane way that is free from political, ideological, or religious interference. I hope to see legislation come forward in the following year that respects these rights. .
    Last edited by Starrunner; 09-Feb-2015 at 00:36.

  2. #2

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    My liberal instinct is to say that people should be able to choose what is best for them. If people are sane, and make a rational decision to allow themselves to die in a less painful way, then it's not up to me to prevent it (let alone the state).

    My biggest objection to legalising euthanasia is nothing to do with the ethics of killing, but rather the difficultly of writing sufficient safeguards into law to prevent people from being pressured into dying. Most people support euthanasia with the caveat of "Sane/rational/competent/understanding/etc.", the person must be fully consenting and able to consent. It needs to be clear how we can makes sure this is the case. That said, I think it is possible and that it won't be long before assisted-suicide is legalised in the UK. Probably not during a Tory led government though!

  3. #3

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    I'm a bit torn on this issue. I've had a number of family members and friends--including recently my grandfather and godmother--that have passed away after long, drawn out illnesses (multiple strokes and lung cancer, respectively).

    During both times, I felt time and time again that there was something fundamentally wrong or broken with the way end of life care is undertaken. In both cases, there was no hope of return to a 'normal' life, and as time went on--it began to feel like the medical system was simply prolonging the existence of a shell of the person I once knew.

    My grandfather was an incredible, loving man who was a loving father and grandpa who served in World War II. He helped to liberate concentration camps, and quite literally ripped the handle off of Hitler's bedroom door after landing on D-Day and fighting through Europe.

    To allow him whither away after a number of strokes, unable to communicate, move, do absolutely anything for himself which led to being placed on veritable life support for almost three years--it almost seems criminal. He died due to dehydration/starvation after three long, awful days of being surrounded by family in the palliative care ward of a hospital that felt completely broken in how it views 'terminal' illness.

    While I can't help but imagine that some people will use this new change to disrespect the precious gift of life--I am hopeful that it will at least spark advances in a field/mindset that seems long overdue for some kind of reform.

  4. #4

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    Generally speaking, I'm in favor of permitting physician-assisted suicide, as long as it is implemented in such a way as to ensure that patients are educated on their options, and that health insurance and medical science remain committed to curing patients.

    Unfortunately, it will always be the case that decisions to die are made at the same time as advances in treating terminal diseases and other life-ruining conditions. One of my uncles was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in the early 1970's and told he had only a short while to live. He promptly committed suicide (shot himself). Mere months later, major advances in chemo treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma were made, and it quickly became one of the most treatable forms of cancer. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.

  5. #5

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    In clear cut cases, I'm all for a persons right to end their own life. The problem starts when you get into whether a person is fit to make that decision, or even more murky, when they arn't and someone else is making the decision for them (i.e. a family member).

    That said, given how horrifying the last few months/years can be for some people I think this decision is a good thing. I can only hope it doesn't become widely abused.

  6. #6

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    I feel people should have the right to choose what to do with their lives. I worry with this kind of ban to start with it just makes and made people find more desperate ways to get the same end result.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan09 View Post
    I'm a bit torn on this issue. I've had a number of family members and friends--including recently my grandfather and godmother--that have passed away after long, drawn out illnesses (multiple strokes and lung cancer, respectively).

    During both times, I felt time and time again that there was something fundamentally wrong or broken with the way end of life care is undertaken. In both cases, there was no hope of return to a 'normal' life, and as time went on--it began to feel like the medical system was simply prolonging the existence of a shell of the person I once knew.

    My grandfather was an incredible, loving man who was a loving father and grandpa who served in World War II. He helped to liberate concentration camps, and quite literally ripped the handle off of Hitler's bedroom door after landing on D-Day and fighting through Europe.

    To allow him whither away after a number of strokes, unable to communicate, move, do absolutely anything for himself which led to being placed on veritable life support for almost three years--it almost seems criminal. He died due to dehydration/starvation after three long, awful days of being surrounded by family in the palliative care ward of a hospital that felt completely broken in how it views 'terminal' illness.

    While I can't help but imagine that some people will use this new change to disrespect the precious gift of life--I am hopeful that it will at least spark advances in a field/mindset that seems long overdue for some kind of reform.
    My dad was a man like your grandfather. Serving in ww2 and then moving on to build a life the was fruitful and very rewarding.

    As I have become older and infinitely more cynical. The whole issue of end of life termination has become a matter of "follow the money". With the corporatization of health care the elderly have become another case of easy income for the corporate machine. The entire worth of and elderly terminal person is sucked off by these parasites. The health care system is bloated with the profits that they justify with shallow excuses. Sadly with Obama care the corporate takeover of health care has taken another giant step in total control of health by requiring mandatory classes for the elderly that to me is aimed at termination of the elderly when their net worth is milked dry.

  8. #8

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    I've never had a family member die in a horrid way thank the lord but I'm not nieve to what some diseases can do to you.

    ALS, cancer, AIDS, huntingtons, Alzheimer's just to name a few have horrible deaths not just for the person suffering but for their family as well.

    If I did have a family member who was slowly loosing the use of there body or mind or was in constant agony I would want to know that there was an option for them that didn't include dealing with it until you die.

    I would want to know that if they wanted it they could ask that it be over with friends and family there to smile at them and hold there hand rather than a bottle of pills or a razor blade.

    If you are dying a horrible death an you know it, having the option to end it on your terms in your time is a way of kind of giving them control back and maybe that could be very comforting.

    I don't think it should be allowed though if the person themselves cannot request it or is not mentally fit to make that decision.

  9. #9

    Default Supreme Court Decision



    Quote Originally Posted by Metoo View Post
    My dad was a man like your grandfather. Serving in ww2 and then moving on to build a life the was fruitful and very rewarding.

    As I have become older and infinitely more cynical. The whole issue of end of life termination has become a matter of "follow the money". With the corporatization of health care the elderly have become another case of easy income for the corporate machine. The entire worth of and elderly terminal person is sucked off by these parasites. The health care system is bloated with the profits that they justify with shallow excuses. Sadly with Obama care the corporate takeover of health care has taken another giant step in total control of health by requiring mandatory classes for the elderly that to me is aimed at termination of the elderly when their net worth is milked dry.
    I'll be entirely honest here. My grandfather (who, by the way had NINE kids living in a small two bedroom 'shotgun' house) was a hardworking fool who was quite well off because of a well run family business he started. He and my grandmother saved money religiously, and while they probably seemed low-average income, he was actually sitting on a small fortune at the age of 96. He had meant for this money to go towards putting his grandchildren through college (there's probably 30+ of us, I'm not sure).

    The end result of this however, was putting his family/caretakers in the awkward position in between being wealthy enough that end of life care costs didn't mean much (which were insanely, ridiculously expensive over a 5ish year period he lived following the strokes) and a point where we weren't low enough on fund to qualify for any sort of significant medical financial assistance. It was something of a gray area that resulted in us paying full price for a legion of medical costs (at one point it was $4-6k a week, as he was completely incapable of doing anything for himself) out of the life savings he had built up over a lifetime. We are still getting massive bills from hospitals to this day, months after he's passed away.

    To be clear, I'm not complaining about the situation--he was smart about saving money specifically to be prepared for events such as this. I never intended to get help through college anyways, and am paying my own way through currently with the help of some smallish scholarships.

    However, having become somewhat of an expert over the years of being a primary participant in his care--it is both frustrating and saddening to me to have witnessed the sheer bloodsucking gusto that so many healthcare entities showed in sapping the life savings of a dying World War veteran, all in the interest of prolonging a life that I know he would have adamantly opposed to had he been able to communicate to us.
    Last edited by Dan09; 10-Feb-2015 at 01:19.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metoo View Post
    Sadly with Obama care the corporate takeover of health care has taken another giant step in total control of health by requiring mandatory classes for the elderly that to me is aimed at termination of the elderly when their net worth is milked dry.
    Quite to the contrary, I've been claiming for years that we need to do more to convince old people to put a glock in their mouths once they can't provide for themselves anymore. Obamacare is the best thing that ever happened.

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