B.C. court to hear assisted suicide case

Nov. 14, 2011 at 12:29 PM
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VICTORIA, British Columbia, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A 63-year-old woman with a fatal neurodegenerative disease says she wants the British Columbia Supreme Court to overturn Canada's laws on assisted suicide.

Gloria Taylor of West Kelowna has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS and Lou Gehrig's disease, and says she wants her doctor to be able to help her end her life before she becomes incapacitated, Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday.

Her lawyers said they plan to argue Canada's Criminal Code provisions against physician-assisted suicide are unconstitutional and individuals should have the right to a dignified death.

To counsel, aid or abet a person to commit suicide is illegal under current Canadian law and carries a maximum punishment of 14 years in prison.

The Supreme Court of Canada last ruled on the right-to-die debate in 1993, ruling against a request for a doctor-assisted suicide.

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association has joined the current case as a plaintiff.

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