The following was received from The Farewell Foundation:
October 10, 2013
BC Court of Appeal Disappoints with Carter v. Canada
In a 2-1 decision the BC Court of Appeal has overturned the ruling of the honourable Madam Justice L. Smith and determined that the criminal prohibition against assisted suicide complies with the Constitution of Canada. Former Chief Justice Lance Finch issued a stirring dissent. The full ruling is at this link: http://farewellfoundation.ca/docs/2013_BCCA_435_Carter.pdf
“The decision makes a scapegoat of competent and rational individuals who wish to exercise the right to end their lives,” said Russel Ogden, a Director of the Farewell Foundation. “This was a lost opportunity that will hopefully be overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada.” As an intervening party in the case, the Foundation was represented by lawyer Jason Gratl.
The two judges forming the majority decision said that the Supreme Court of Canada might consider constitutional exemptions as a possible remedy for individuals seeking assistance to die. Madam Justice Saunders and Madam Justice Newbury suggested that any constitutional exemption ought to require not only a patient’s informed request, but also two medical opinions and an application for court approval. Farewell Foundation believes that in a free country we can do better than requiring the permission of two doctors and court approval in order to die.
The Farewell Foundation will continue to support members with unassisted suicides in accordance with its Procedures for Attending Self-Chosen Death. Farewell Foundation will be reviewing the Court of Appeal decision and intends to support the plaintiffs by applying to intervene in any appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The FAREWELL FOUNDATION Team
322 – 720 6th Street
New Westminster, BC
V3L 3C5 Canada