Friday, June 15, 2012
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Gwinnett Daily Post
Canada court says suicide laws unconstitutional
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- A British Columbia Supreme Court has ruled that Canadian laws banning doctor-assisted suicide are unconstitutional.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lynn Smith declared the laws invalid, but also suspended her ruling for one year to give Canada's federal Parliament time to draft legislation with her ruling in mind.
Smith also allowed the ailing Gloria Taylor to seek a physician-assisted suicide during the one-year period if she wants. Taylor has Lou Gehrig's disease, which is rapidly progressive and invariably fatal.
Smith says the provisions in Canada's constitution infringe on Taylor's rights to life, liberty and security of persons.
She says the laws are discriminatory for those who are grievously ill or physically disabled.
Countries are increasingly wrestling with the issue of assisted suicide as their populations age.