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An expert on euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide says Canada's Supreme Court has created a dangerous situation by ruling in favor of assisted suicide.
The court ruled Friday in the Carter case that adults who are mentally competent and in a stage of permanent suffering – whether it be physical or mental – can request lethal drugs for themselves. OneNewsNow turned to Rita Marker of the Patients Rights Council, who says the court held the order in abeyance for 12 months so Parliament can write a law. She explains why that's a real problem.
"Because if they don't rewrite the law then the law that now exists [and] was always in place before, that's going to be totally struck down," says Marker. "So for the people who are favoring doctor-prescribed suicide and euthanasia, all they have to do is prevent a rewrite of the law – and in that case, there won't be any law against assisted suicide."
Marker was asked if a patient has a serious psychological problem, how can they be considered competent to decide in favor of suicide?
"To be competent for the purpose of requesting doctor-prescribed suicide you can be mentally ill or depressed, as long as that is not causing impaired judgment," she responds.
"So you could be very, very depressed – but if you said Yes, I know that by requesting this I'm going to get the drugs and when I take them I'll die, that would be considered competent to request this because you know what you're requesting."
But then the question becomes: Why not treat the mental illness or depression rather than providing terminal drugs?
Parliament now has the task of writing the rules.
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