OTTAWA – Nothing in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
compels the legalization of the private killing of citizens, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) will argue today at the Supreme Court of Canada.
The EFC agrees with the previous Supreme Court ruling that the right to life in the Charter
is a life-affirming principle that promotes the enhancement and protection of life, not its removal.
The Court is hearing arguments today on the constitutionality of the assisted suicide prohibition in the case of Lee Carter, et al. v. Attorney General of Canada, et al.
This challenge of the assisted suicide prohibition was launched by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and two terminally ill women who have since passed away. The B.C. Supreme Court struck down the law in 2012, but the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned that decision and upheld the law in 2013.
“Our laws and our health care system are committed to protecting life,” says Bruce Clemenger, President of the EFC. “Striking down the ban on assisted suicide will erode this basic trust. People with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to any exemptions made to the existing protections offered by current laws. The European experience shows that once one life can be taken the ‘safe guards’ that were intended to keep euthanasia / assisted suicide rare and exceptional don’t hold.”
The EFC also argues that, in stark contrast to suicide, assisted “suicide” is a social act where someone aids and abets the killing and in which all of society is complicit through legal sanction.
“We must respond to suffering with dignity-affirming treatment, not with killing,” says Clemenger. “Palliative care and as much personal and community support as possible should characterize our response to those nearing the end of life.”
Bruce Clemenger will be available for comment immediately after the hearing at the Supreme Court of Canada.
For more information or an interview contact:
Rick Hiemstra, Director of Media Relations
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
(613) 233-9868 x332