Physician- Assisted Suicide Case In Supreme Court of Canada
For years politicians have debated whether or not doctor assisted suicide is the same thing as committing murder. On October 15th 2014 the supreme court of Canada began to address whether Canadians should have the right to seek help to end their life. This case was brought forward by two terminally- ill BC women who have since died. The case was originally taken up by the BC Supreme court in 2012 where is was rejected. This case has now been put in front of the supreme court of Canada for review.
As said by the plaintiff’s layer in this case, “No one wants to die if living is better.”
For the past twenty one years in Canada there is a law decrees that doctor assisted suicide is murder and is a criminal offence punishable by up to fourteen years in prison. This issue is back in court to determine whether or not it should be upheld. According to the government this law is “constitutionally valid” and they are pulling for the law to remain intact. It has also been said that doctors believe it is their professional and ethical duty to do no harm meaning they want to help their patents live not die.
This can not only be debated politically and socially but we can also look at what religious groups have to say about doctor assisted suicide. The layer, Joseph Arvay said “To the church groups we simply say that we respect your religious views but they cannot in this secular society trump our client’s constitutional rights”. Let’s look at some religious viewpoints on assisted suicide. First there is Catholicism which is strongly opposed but they do not have a moral opinion about the patients right to refuse extraordinary measures and care. Likewise Evangelists are opposed but say there is no requirement for extraordinary care. Buddhists would say that it is morally wrong to destroy human life, even one’s own, but they also believe that life needn’t be preserved at all costs, they would say people have the right to refuse care. For another example we can look at Hinduism, although there is no formal teaching, prematurely ending a life may be seen as bad for karma. Despite this some Hindu’s believe circumstances can call for a shorting of one’s life.
Regardless of the religion, all of these groups seem to believe that although taking a life is bad, there is no need for someone to be put through extraordinary measures if they don’t wish to. Having a clear view on some religious standpoints can help people form their own opinion. I for one believe people living with a terminal illness who are in pain should be given the choice, because is it really living if you don’t get to feel alive?