Slaw is a Canadian legal commentary blog. It’s not pro-life. But here’s a perspective that doesn’t line up far from my own…For a wide variety of reasons, I hate that assisted suicide has been decriminalized in Canada, but we cannot allow unregulated assisted suicide.
If the current government does nothing, and it’s impossible to see how they could broach such a complicated and sensitive subject as physician-assisted suicide in such a short period of time, then we will be left in a situation where these provisions under the Code are invalid and there is no comparable law to replace it. This would be a similar situation as abortion following R. v. Morgentaler 27 years ago, where no law has followed the Court’s decision.
Unlike abortion though, where most Canadians are content to live in a country where we turn a blind eye to the subject and allow it to continue based on individual preference, there are far more compelling interests at stake here.
The implication of inaction over the Carter decision would be to allow all consensual killing and assisted suicide in Canada, whether there was physician involvement or not, or any oversight for that matter. The vulnerabilities of individuals at the end of life, and potential for a rise in elder abuse, necessitates that some for of legislative reform is undertaken.