Assisted suicide ruling expected Thursday
VANCOUVER - The B.C. Court of Appeal is set to rule on Canada's ban on doctor-assisted suicide, weighing in on a contentious legal case that is expected to end up at the Supreme Court of Canada.
The case stems from a B.C. Supreme Court decision last year that struck down the ban and ruled the law violated the charter rights of sick and dying people by preventing them from ending their lives.
The federal government appealed, arguing allowing physician-assisted suicide would demean the value of life and put vulnerable people at risk of abuse.
Lee Carter, whose mother Kay travelled to Switzerland to seek physician-assisted suicide in 2010, says she hopes the court will affirm the rights of seriously ill Canadians to choose how they want to die.
Carter says her mother was forced to keep her plan secret because of the law, but would be thrilled to know her story has helped propel the public debate.
Legal experts expect this week's decision will be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which last considered the issue in 1993 in a case involving Victoria resident Sue Rodriguez.