Vancouver archbishop decries ‘dangerous’ assisted suicide ruling
Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver has “strongly” urged the government of British Columbia to appeal a provincial Supreme Court decision to strike down a law banning physician-assisted suicide.
He said the ruling is “extremely flawed and dangerous,” and “sadly reflects a distorted view of equality rights that emphasizes autonomy over human dignity and the value of life.”
“We have been down this road many times around the world, and all the safeguards initially put in place wind up either disregarded or eventually dispensed with,” the archbishop said June 16.
“The result is euthanasia harms not only those whose lives are taken, but those responsible for taking them.”
British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Lynn Smith on June 16 ruled that the law violates the constitutional rights of the three plaintiffs: Gloria Taylor, Lee Carter and Hollis Johnson.
Plaintiffs Carter and Johnson helped Carter’s mother Kay obtain a physician-assisted suicide in Switzerland. Taylor, 64, suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease and has sought a declaration of a right to doctor-assisted suicide.
Justice Smith said the anti-euthanasia law is invalid. However, she suspended the decision for a year to allow Parliament to modify the law to make it constitutional, the British Columbia newspaper The Times Colonist reports. [More]