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Farris LLP: Vancouver's Law Firm

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06 February 2015

Supreme Court of Canada Issues Historic Ruling on Physician-Assisted Death

Farris lawyers Joseph Arvay, Q.C. and Alison Latimer along with Sheila Tucker of Davis LLP argue successfully on behalf of the Appellants Lee Carter, Hollis Johnson, Dr. William Shoichet, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and Gloria Taylor in this groundbreaking Charter case.

The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously struck down the absolute ban on physician-assisted death for competent, adult persons who clearly consent to the termination of their life and who have a grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.

The absolute ban against physician-assisted death violates section 7 of the Charter which protects the rights to life, liberty and security of the person. It causes some people to end their own lives before they become incapable of doing so. It interferes with fundamentally important and personal medical decision-making. It leaves people to suffer physical and psychological pain and imposes stress. The Court found that the law goes too far by denying the rights of some individuals in a way that bears no relationship to the laws objective and could not be justified.

Also arguing with intervener status before the Court and in support of the appellants, were Farris lawyers Tim Dickson and Ryan Androsoff.

To see the complete judgment, please click here.

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