Assisted-dying OK may take longer
VANCOUVER — A civil liberties group says severely ill Canadians looking for medical help to end their lives have a longer wait before they find out whether the federal government is violating their right to a medically assisted death.
The Supreme Court of British Columbia has ruled the facts used by the country’s top court to overturn a ban on assisted dying two years ago are no longer applicable and the federal government can argue them anew.
The government said in its original submissions that the landmark Supreme Court of Canada ruling involves different patients and evidence related to assisted-dying regimes in other countries that was presented in the original case is no longer current.
Justice Minister Jody WilsonRaybould says in a statement the government will continue defending its legislation and argues it strikes the appropriate balance between safeguarding access to medically assisted death and protecting the rights of vulnerable people.
Caily DiPuma of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, which is spearheading the lawsuit, says Wednesday’s ruling will prolong the suffering of grievously sick people eager to access a right the courts have already granted them.
Two B.C. women and the civil liberties group are challenging the constitutionality of the legislation, which they say is more restrictive than the system of assisted dying envisioned by the Supreme Court.