Discussion Forums

Your thoughts? - Supreme Court decision on doctor-assisted suicide 
08 Feb 2015, 2:15 PM

On Friday, February 6, 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada said in a unanimous ruling “People with grievous and irremediable medical conditions should have the right to ask a doctor to help them die.”

Read more here:

Does the Supreme Court decision make access to quality palliative care information and services even more important?

What do you think? 


Report this post      
Reply by Wingman
21 Feb 2015, 9:17 AM

ahave been hoping someone would respond here...these are difficult decisions.
I am born and raised with animal.husbandry.
 Here...we make decisions in *the best interest of life*
Consider what we percieve to be "quality"

I understand the conversation becomes both simpler...and yet complex..when free will becomes a factor-and I question how this can not be a Deciding factor.
The choice to decide.....to live or to die, is available to all at any time. Choices are made everyday by those who indeed....choose to die.
The complexity of *allowing* the decision to be made I suppose is the biggest question here. When one is so ill...are they equipped...prepared....understanding of the decision at hand.
I suppose then it should be a question of the process of determining who is and is not *fit...to make this personal decision. Should those who are ill be denied the option....I guess in the end I think that no....it should not be a denied option.
No doubt a difficult conversation....and as I currently have an aunt with severe debilitating and advanced physical disease...I believe she should be able to make an absolute educatefld choice.....and I have a best friend with terminal illness who strives for time whom I love with all my heart,  I suppose I project my own choices....but in the end...the ultimate choice I suppose is only for one to choose. Who am I....who is anyone..to deny this.

Report this post      
Reply by Wingman
05 Mar 2015, 1:47 AM

I am a raised Catholic. I conversed with my mom about this...and was for some reason surprised at our differancimg thoughts.
To be fair....she goes to church....I do not.....but I was still surprised at our differances.  I didnt tell her my thoughts....I just listened and thought.
Her parish priest addressed this.....and suggested thay if one interferes....one implies that "God got it wrong".
This troubles me......from my stand of faith....and yet I question......what about those who do not share this faith...or those who are at peace with their God.
One who has faith in our Fathers path will continue to follow His path...wait for His call.
My worry here however is that that applies to the faith I have.....the faith that she has. Should those of a different insight not be priveleged  to make their choice?
 I guess I have trouble with denying the right. Just because I h
ave a faith in God....how am I to judge...who am I to judge....tto feel priveledged enought to over-rule what another may wish. My faith will guide my choice....but anothers choice is theirs....and I feel I have no right to judge that for them. Long story not so short....I was a bit surprised and saddened bu the sounding board that was not seemingly vailable. I am on a path alone......but that is ok.  WM(woman actually)

Report this post      
Reply by KathCull_admin
05 Mar 2015, 2:41 AM

Hi WM (woman:) I was just thinking about you today - glad you posted again. 

The Supreme Court decision has sparked lots of conversation and hopefully is encouraging people to think more about it - as you are.  I know I have.

I wondered what you thought about the need for more/better access to palliative care. I would be interested in your thoughts on that as well.  

How is your friend's health WM?  
Report this post      
Reply by oldbat
08 Mar 2015, 11:18 PM

Hello Wingman and Katherine,

Wish I had an answer for these very tough questions.  I'm still trying to come to terms with the issue myself.  Have just finished reading the private member's bill, which seems to be both comprehensive and caring.  But, like anything to do with government, it is complicated.

Here are my personal thoughts on the topic:  I have always believed in and wanted to avail myself of assisted suicide, if and when the need should arise.  In fact I tell my family doctor, on a fairly regular basis, that I have no intention of living beyond the age of 80 - a milestone I'll reach in just over three years.  The last time I mentioned it to her, she told me she would stop me.  So I asked if she was planning on carrying my bags to Switzerland!  I would far rather do that than suffer the living hell that I see some people in my husband's long-term care home enduring.  Who was it that said something about being "half in love with easeful death"?  That's definitely me. 

However, yes I do believe that we need more and better access to palliative and hospice care, now and on the long-term. I think that if people could be reassured that their passing would be made as easeful as possible, these choice would be made by the majority.  And I would probably be among them.

So, as you see, I am wavering.  I am also very concerned about the opportunity for abuse.  Marya Mannes wrote a book, years ago, called either "They" or Them".  In it the state mandated a cut-off date for seniors.  The protoganist was a senior who, with her peers, was living in a community and waiting for the "little white truck" to arrive.  I must have been in my twenties when I read this, but it scared the hell out of me, and still does.  Whether there is new legislation passed on this topic or not, all of us must ensure that the wording governing the applicants must be very, very clear.  I would actually fight for that.

Sorry for the ramble.  I haven't spoken to anyone, and I've discussed this with several people, and there seems to be no consensus at this stage, so I'm obviously not alone.

Confused oldbat
Report this post      
Reply by oldbat
08 Mar 2015, 11:20 PM

Sorry - meant to say I haven't spoken to anyone who's definitely made up their mind on this issue.

Report this post      
Reply by 12
19 May 2019, 8:25 PM

From personal experience my biggest concern is thatt here is no consisitent criterea for doctors to follow. Some say no some say yes, in the case of my family member 1 out of four said yes. There is a doctor in BC who "pushes the envelope" on this. How can that be legal.
Report this post      
22 May 2019, 8:16 PM

Thank you for your post, "12".

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) has been legalized (MAID) in Canada for competent adults. The law sets out specific criteria for someone to be eligible for a medically assisted death.  Further information (including the eligibility criteria) is available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/medical-assistance-dying.html

Simone (CVH Moderator)

Report this post      
Reply by 12
22 May 2019, 10:19 PM

Dear Susan

I do understand that but still cannot understand how the same three crtiterea can be understood differerenty by different doctors. 

Thank you
Report this post      

Our Partners
Asked and Answered
Asked and Answered

Find out what Canadians
are asking

Ask a Professional
Ask a Professional

Our team of experts answers
your questions about
life-threatening illness and loss.

Just want to talk?
Just want to talk?

Join the Discussion

Books, Links, and More
Books, Links, and More

Recommended by our team

Programs and Services
Programs and Services

Find local, regional,
and national services