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B.C. Supreme Court to rule on Friday on death with dignity lawsuit

June 15, 2012 Update:  Major Victory at the BC Supreme Court! The decision on the BCCLA’s ‘’Dying with Dignity” lawsuit was released, and the ban on medically-assisted dying has been struck down.  The BC Supreme Court is giving Parliament one year to draft new legislation on physician-assisted suicide.  The Court has also granted plaintiff Gloria Taylor, who suffers from ALS, a constitutional exemption to seek physician-assisted suicide now.

Download the judgment: Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) 2012 BCSC 886


Vancouver – The B.C. Supreme Court will announce on Friday, June 15, 2012, its landmark decision in the B.C. Civil Liberties Association’s death with dignity lawsuit.

The court decision will determine whether Gloria Taylor, 64, of Westbank, B.C., who is terminally ill with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), will be allowed to seek a doctor’s help to have a peaceful and dignified death.

The BCCLA will hold two press conferences after the judgment is released:

Press conference with BCCLA lawyers

When: Friday, June 15 at 11:35 a.m. PST
Where: Outside the Supreme Court building at the corner of Nelson and Hornby Streets

Press conference with Gloria Taylor, Lee Carter and Hollis Johnson

When: Monday, June 18 at 10 a.m. PST
Where: 550 – 1188 West Georgia Street, Vancouver (please come to the BCCLA office on the 5th floor and we will escort you to our 3rd floor boardroom). Ms. Taylor, Ms. Carter and Mr. Johnson respectfully request that journalists refrain from seeking comment from them until their press conference.

Gloria was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, three years ago. Since then, she has lived with increasing pain and has watched her health and independence slip away. There is no cure for ALS and eighty percent of people with ALS die within two to five years of diagnosis. Suffocation is a common cause of death in the final stages of the disease.

The lawsuit challenges the laws that make it a criminal offense for physicians to assist seriously and incurably ill individuals to die with dignity. If the lawsuit is successful, mentally competent adults such as Gloria, who are suffering from serious, incurable illnesses, would have the right to receive medical assistance to hasten death under certain specific safeguards.

Read the Amended Notice of Claim here >>
Further Resources

The BCCLA has a number of resources related to this case.

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