Canada’s Attorney General, Rob Nicholson, announced this week that he will appeal to the country’s Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the British Columbia Supreme Court that bans on assisted suicide were unconstitutional.
“The Government is of the view that the Criminal Code provisions that prohibit medical professionals, or anyone else, from counselling or providing assistance in a suicide, are constitutionally valid. The Government also objects to the lower court’s decision to grant a ‘constitutional exemption’ resembling a regulatory framework for assisted suicide.
“The laws surrounding euthanasia and assisted suicide exist to protect all Canadians, including those who are most vulnerable, such as people who are sick or elderly or people with disabilities. The Supreme Court of Canada acknowledged the state interest in protecting human life and upheld the constitutionality of the existing legislation in Rodriguez (1993). In April 2010, a large majority of Parliamentarians voted not to change these laws, which is an expression of democratic will on this topic. It is an emotional and divisive issue for many Canadians.’