Que­be­cers with de­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases in court to chal­lenge as­sisted dy­ing laws

Sherbrooke Record - - EDITORIAL -

TThe Cana­dian Press

wo Que­be­cers suf­fer­ing from in­cur­able de­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases are in court yes­ter­day chal­leng­ing pro­vin­cial and fed­eral laws that have left them in­el­i­gi­ble for med­i­cally as­sisted death.

Jean Tru­chon and Ni­cole Gladu don't qual­ify to have a physi­cian end their lives be­cause, de­spite their suf­fer­ing, they are not at the end of life.

Gladu suf­fers from post-po­lio syn­drome and Tru­chon has cere­bral palsy. Their re­quests for med­i­cally as­sisted death were re­fused be­cause a nat­u­ral death was not im­mi­nent, as re­quired by fed­eral and pro­vin­cial law.

They are in court ask­ing Que­bec Su­pe­rior Court to al­low doc­tors to pro­vide them with med­i­cal aid in dy­ing and to in­val­i­date cer­tain ar­ti­cles of the fed­eral and pro­vin­cial laws.

They ar­gue that the re­quire­ment that some­one be at the end of life is am­bigu­ous and cre­ates un­cer­tainty, lead­ing some peo­ple to con­sider other meth­ods, such as a hunger strike or sui­cide.

Their lawyer, Jean-pierre Me­nard, plans to ar­gue that the laws in­fringe Char­ter pro­tec­tions of the right to life and se­cu­rity as well as the right to equal­ity. The trial is sched­uled to last 33 days.

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