EPC wants BC Court of Appeal to reverse errors in assisted court decision

TORONTO, March 17, 2013 /CNW/ - The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC), an intervener in the assisted suicide case at the BC Court of Appeal, is asking the BC Court of Appeal to reverse the errors in the Carter decision concerning assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Norman Kunc, a long-time disability rights activist will be speaking out against assisted suicide at the Monday morning courthouse demonstration. 

Kunc who has cerebral palsy will share his story and his perspective on behalf of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, and explain why 2012's Carter case will harm citizens with disabilities.

EPC Vice President, Dr Margaret Cottle, who specializes in palliative care stated: "Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide would give doctors the power over life and death. I am concerned about patient safety."

"Elder abuse is already difficult to detect and would be no easier to combat when a suicide offer is part of the culture of care for a vulnerable older person. Giving legal immunity to those who would provide suicide does not make our loved ones safer."

EPC legal counsel, Hugh Scher stated: "EPC is concerned about the safety, security and equality of people with disabilities and seniors which is central to the protections set out under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and our Criminal Code."

EPC Executive Director, Alex Schadenberg, stated: "the Carter decision erred in several significant areas … the judge came to her decision by falsely assuming that there is a 'right to suicide' in Canada."

Schadenberg further explained: "the Carter decision misinterpreted the data from other jurisdictions that legalized assisted death when it suggested that there is no significant risk to vulnerable patient groups. A recent study found that 32% of all assisted deaths in Belgium were done without request. The study revealed that incompetent people who are over the age of 80 are vulnerable to dying by an assisted death without request."

SOURCE: Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of Ontario

For further information:

Norm Kunc, disability leader: (604) 366-6263, ndkunc@gmail.com
Dr Margaret Cottle, EPC Vice President (604) 813-8665, mmcottle@mac.com
Hugh Scher, EPC Legal Counsel: (416) 816-6115, hugh@sdlaw.ca
Alex Schadenberg, EPC Executive Director: (519) 851-1434, info@epcc.ca