She fought, lost in court
Sometime around noon on Feb. 12, 1994, Sue Rodriguez took her last breath.
The 43-year-old mother died from a massive overdose of morphine taken with Seconal capsules in her North Saanich home, ending a high-profile, two-year battle to die with dignity.
Her death, a doctor-assisted suicide, took place on her own terms, as her body began to be ravaged by the worst of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
ALS causes the body’s muscle functions to progressively weaken, leading to paralysis and the shutdown of all motor functions.
Diagnosed in April 1991, Rodriguez decided the following year to commit suicide.
Wishing to pursue her death under the purview of the law, Rodriguez turned to the B.C. Court of Appeal, then Supreme Court of Canada. Both rejected her challenge to allow doctor-assisted suicides to terminally ill patients.
Her lawyer, Chris Considine, said Rodriguez lost her will to live when she was unable to hold her nine-year-old son Cole in her arms.
Sue Rodriguez, here with thenNDP MP Sven Robinson, took her life in 1994.