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Assisted suicide and canadian law

Assisted Suicide and Canadian Law

Canada still has not come to a decision on the need for

legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide. A woman named Sue

Rodriguez brought it out into open to become one of Canada's

famous court debates. In February of 1994, she ended her life

with the assistance of her doctor. She suffered from a terminal

illness called ALS (a.k.a. amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou

Gehrig's disease). The disease progressively worsens until it

robs the individual of all their abilities (like walking, control

of body movement, swallowing and breathing) until they are

totally dependent on mechanical devices to survive.

Before she ended her life, she brought the debate over

assisted suicide and the right to die to the Supreme Court of

British Columbia (which was denied) and then to the British

Columbia Court of Appeal which was lost. She fought though for

the right to change the laws of assisted suicide and have the

right to choose when she would die.

Sue Rodriguez is an example of the need for the Canadian

government to decide on the laws surrounding this issue. In this

paper I will explain euthanasia or assisted suicide, the laws

surrounding the issue and some of the arguments for and against

it. Later I will discuss the role of the social worker in

regards to assisted suicide and the health care setting.

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