Assisted Suicide

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Assisted Suicide: In Canada and Around the World
Introduction
Euthanasia and assisted suicide are very controversial issues all over the world. Euthanasia is defined as “intentionally causing the death of a person, the motive being to benefit that person or protect him/her from further suffering” where as assisted suicide is defined as, “helping a person kill him or herself.” (http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~cp28/euth1.htm)
There are only four countries that allow assisted suicide. These countries are Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. In Canada, assisted suicide is illegal, although Canada may be moving in the direction of legalizing it. According to Canada’s Criminal Code, assisted suicide is illegal with sentences of up to 14 years in prison. In the United States, assisted suicide has also been outlawed. However, recently, in Vermont, legislation has been signed which allows physicians to help sick patients who want to end their lives. Oregon was actually the first state that had a law that allowed physician assisted suicide. Washington and Montana also have laws that permit assisted suicide. (http://www.patientsrightscouncil.org/site/frequently-asked-questions/). Although there is movement towards allowing assisted suicide, there is still great resistance and debate over the issue in North America and around the world.
Canadian Case Study: Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attorney General)
Details & Analysis

The case involving Sue Rodriguez in the early 1990s brought the right to die issue to the forefront in Canada. Sue Rodriguez was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1991. This condition would lead her to not being able to breathe on her own, to eat without...

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...nted being won. In both these cases, the patient was mentally capable to make decisions and they both only had a short amount of time to live. They both did not want to suffer or have people around them suffer. Isn’t this an appropriate reason to want to end their lives? The both were unable to end their lives without the help of another, whether it be a doctor or otherwise. Should it not be the right of an individual to make this choice for himself/herself? Obviously, this is a very controversial issue and arguments for either side are at times reasonable. The concern seems to be that legalizing assisted suicide could be a “slippery slope” leading to unnecessary assisted suicides. Slowly, progress is being made dealing with this complex issue. It seems both Canada and England are being more cautious compared to other countries, and perhaps rightfully so.
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