Linda Lyster, President of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association responded:
The Court was clear that the existing laws violate the rights of the seriously and incurably ill. For the government to waste limited public resources to prevent Gloria Taylor and other seriously and incurably ill Canadians from accessing a physician’s help in dying is absurd.
Beyond the hundreds of seriously ill Canadians this case gave hope to, Gloria Taylor specifically had the Court’s permission to access a physician’s help so that she could die with dignity. That decision was made after the Court heard weeks of evidence about Gloria’s personal situation. This level of interference by our government in the private matters between Gloria and her doctor is unacceptable.”
The case decided by Justice Smith was expedited in view of Taylor’s deteriorating health. It is unlikely the Harper government’s appeal will be handled with the same speed.
Lou Gehrig’s disease gradually kills the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Gradually the brain loses its ability to send messages to the muscles. In the last stages of the disease, patients are unable to breathe or swallow on their own. The time comes when they can no longer speak.
Gloria Taylor’s condition is a death sentence. Her mind will remain lucid. She will know, as the last stages of ALS set in, why it is she is unable to slip peacefully away.
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