End of Life
Fell-swoop surrender, or slow death? In the human family, these are the stark choices presented in legal and ethical debates about assisted suicide. Like many disabled people, I have strong views on the issue. These are hinted at in my blog post “Slow Death and the Felling of Trees“, but detailed more explicitly in these supplementary texts.
Op Ed For Montréal Gazette – March 4, 2014, responding to Bill 52
Op Ed for Toronto Star – March 30, 2014, responding to the suicide of Edward Hung
Op Ed for Chronicle Herald – October 14, 2014, anticipating Supreme Court hearing on assisted suicide
Op Ed for Ottawa Citizen – October 14, 2014, anticipating Supreme Court hearing on assisted suicide
Fireside Chat for the Nova Scotia Health Ethics Network, recorded on October 30, 2014 (31 minutes)
Luncheon Presentation to Canadian Parliamentarians, October 2, 2014. You may view the print version here.)
Expert Opinion Report for the Québec Superior Court, LeBlanc v. A.G. of Canada, September 2012
In the summer of 2012 I was retained by the Attorney General of Canada to prepare an opinion report for a Québec Superior Court case, LeBlanc v. A.G. of Canada. The case presented a constitutional challenge to Canada’s Criminal Code prohibitions against suicide assistance, but was never argued in court. Following the death of the plaintiff, Ginette LeBlanc, in February 2013, the case was withdrawn.
In this affadavit, I argue against the seductive logic of “fell-swoop” approaches to end-of-life circumstances. I am grateful to many colleagues, particularly members of the Values and Ethics Task Force of the Canadian Association for Community Living, who engaged with me in many intense and far-reaching conversations as my thinking on the issue of suicide assistance has evolved.