Right to die has become reality for Canadians

Canada has recently made a historic and monumental decision in its court rooms. The Supreme Court ruling was in favor of the right to doctor-assisted suicide if the patient is enduring and suffering through intolerable pain and if he or she has clearly given consent.

The case for a person’s right to die was first brought to the Canadian courts during Rodriguez v. British Columbia in 1993. Rodriguez lost the battle, but the fight continued on for 22 years, finally, winning over the Supreme Court on Friday.

However, this ban on the law against doctor-assisted suicide has a 12-month life span as federal and provincial governments create  legislation in response to the ruling, but I think it is something that we could see staying legal.

This ban on doctor-assisted suicide doesn’t mean that every doctor has to agree to a request. They have the right to refuse and the patient can then ask someone else.

Patients who are suffering from an incurable disease such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) shouldn’t have to suffer until they are unable to even control who they are. People don’t choose to die from doctor-assisted suicide because they aren’t willing to fight – they want to control one last thing in their life.

It isn’t just for the people who are suffering through these intolerable and painful illnesses either; it is for the families as well. Sometimes the patients feel a sense of guilt for making their families have to take care of them and are unable to remember them any other way once they pass.

This new ruling made by Canada’s highest court gives the option for people suffering to make the final decision on their life – one that was never offered because their illness took it away from them.

Patients were traveling out of the country to other countries like Switzerland that have the availability of doctor-assisted suicide, making them feel driven out of their own country and putting an extra cost on themselves or their families.

With this new ruling, people are able to feel a sense of dignity as they head down a road the average person couldn’t even have imagined.

I am glad that Canada has taken a step in the right direction and is giving back the liberty of life to those who will unfortunately lose it too soon to their illness.

This ruling has happened later than it should have, but better late than never. Every person deserves the right to have control over his or her life, even if it is being taken away by a disease. This ruling gives them the chance to win the battle in their own way by having one last victory.

 

BECKY HILKER

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