british columbia effectively legalizes assisted suicide …

June 26, 2012

in Bioethics,Hospice & Palliative Medicine

The Supreme Court of British Columbia recently declared unconstitutional criminal code provisions prohibiting assisting in a suicide … effectively legalizing assisted suicide.

The National Post story, BioEdge comments, from Margaret Somerville’s analysis

“People who support legalizing assisted suicide/euthanasia simply assume that individual autonomy is the value that takes priority. But research shows that the most likely reasons people want assisted suicide/euthanasia are fear of being abandoned – dying alone and unloved – and of being a burden on others. Surely our response to such fears shouldn’t be to help them to kill themselves or to give them a lethal injection … So what do dying people need to make death bearable? It includes having access to good palliative care, including fully adequate pain management. But it also includes matters such as helping dying people to feel that they are respected, that they still have something to give to the rest of us, and that even when we are dying we can have a sense of hope and avoid the slough of despair.”

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