Canada: Appeals Court Hearing on Assisted Suicide in British Columbia; Amy Hasbrouck of Not Dead Yet Canada Quoted in Vancouver Sun

From the Vancouver Sun:

Castlegar mother Ann Fomenoff misses her dead daughter Gloria Taylor every day.

But the 85-year-old does not question the battle waged by Taylor to change the laws that criminalized doctor-assisted dying.

To honour her daughter, who has ALS and died in October aged 64, Fomenoff will be in B.C. Court of Appeal today as the federal government begins its appeal of a 2012 decision by the B.C. Supreme Court. That decision ruled that criminalizing doctor-assisted death was a violation of the constitutional rights of Taylor and two other plaintiffs.

After a long session from supporters of assisted suicide, the article turns to the opponents of legalization of assisted suicide:

Intervener status in the case has been granted to the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and the Canadian Association for Community Living.

Amy Hasbrouck is coordinator of Not Dead Yet Canada, a project of the C0uncil, and travelled to Vancouver from Quebec for the court proceedings.

She supports the federal government decision to appeal.

Hasbrouck contended people with disabilities who wish to end their lives are not treated the same way as an able-bodied person, like a troubled teen.

“When a person with a disability expresses those feelings, those are the same feelings that a non-disabled person expresses when they want to kill themselves,” said Hasbrouck.

“But when a non-disabled person says, ‘I want to die, my life is terrible, my life is worthless, I can’t go on living this way,’ our society says, ‘We want to prevent your suicide’,” she said.

“But when a person with a disability says the exact same thing, society says ‘We want to help your suicide’.”

NDY is grateful for the involvement of the Canadian Association for  Community Living and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.  We’re especially grateful to Amy Hasbrouck for the time, energy and effort she is exerting in making this trip and making sure the disability rights perspective is heard.  Check back daily this week for additional coverage.

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