The Right to Die

The Right to Die

The Courageous Canadians Who Gave Us the Right to A Dignified Death

Book - 2016
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"Who owns my life?" Sue Rodriguez was dying of a form of ALS (or Lou Gehrig's disease) when she asked this question of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1993. She was fighting for the right to a physician-assisted death before she became fully paralyzed. At the time, assisted suicide could result in jail time for the participating physician. In a narrow decision, Rodriguez lost her case. She died in 1994.

In a historic reversal, in 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada changed its mind. The court ruled that Canadians suffering unbearably from illness or disease do not have a duty to live. The landmark, unanimous decision was the culmination of two decades during which public opinion came to favour assisted suicide. The shift was the result of the efforts of courageous Canadians who asked for the right to a dignified death. In this book, Gary Bauslaugh tells their stories.

Among those whose stories are told are:

Sue Rodriguez, whose experience led to a split decision by the Supreme Court of Canada to retain laws against assisted suicide Robert Latimer, convicted of second-degree murder for ending the life of his daughter who lived with debilitating cerebral palsy John Hofsess and Evelyn Martens, who spent years giving practical assistance to those seeking help in dying Donald Low, a renowned doctor who battled Toronto's SARS outbreak, yet was denied control over his end-of-life when diagnosed with a brain tumour Kay Carter and Gloria Taylor, the Vancouver women whose end-of-life struggles were at the heart of the 2015 Supreme Court case
Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : James Lorimer & Company, 2016.
ISBN: 9781459411166
Branch Call Number: 179.7 BAU
Characteristics: 290 p. : ill., ports. ; 24 cm.

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wickun
Apr 18, 2017

This is a well written book that handles a difficult topic with tact and grace.

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rpavlacic
Jul 04, 2016

While providing a fair but less than satisfactory history of the right to die movement in Canada, up to and including the 2015 Supreme Court decision that legalized assisted suicide, this book tries to draw a moral equivalency between people who wanted to die at a time of their choosing, like Sue Rodriguez, and those who died at the hands of others who couldn't speak for themselves, like Tracy Latimer. There is and can be none.

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