ARPA in National Post: The right to life should not be subjective

27 Oct 2014 ARPA in National Post: The right to life should not be subjective

On Monday, October 20 the National Post published an op-ed by ARPA Canada’s Executive Director, Mark Penninga, in response to a column that argued that the Supreme Court allow assisted suicide. On October 15, the Supreme Court of Canada heard the case of Carter v. CanadaARPA Canada was an intervenor in the case and Mark Penninga and ARPA’s Legal Counsel, André Schutten, were in attendance at the hearing. You can watch their reflections here.

National Post – October 20, 2014

In a recent column (‘Your Call, Friend’, Oct. 15), Matt Gurney argued that it is time for the Supreme Court to allow assisted suicide. But Mr. Gurney qualified his argument by stating that, “Any regime for assisted suicide that we may implement must be biased to make choosing it difficult – not impossible, but difficult.” This limit imposed by Mr. Gurney may sound reasonable, but once this Rubicon of assisted death is crossed, any limits and safeguards imposed will be illusory or arbitrary.

I attended the Supreme Court hearing over whether to allow doctor-assisted suicide because the organization I lead, the Association for Reformed Political Action Canada, is one of the interveners in the case. Those who watched the debate in court would have heard the lawyers representing the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Farewell Foundation for the Right to Die explicitly argue to the judges that it is inconsistent and wrong to limit assisted suicide and euthanasia to only a select few. For them, the standard for assisted death should be whether someone is competent to understand what they are requesting or receiving.

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