Medical aid to die: resume of the disputes about the eligibility criteria

Aide médicale à mourir: reprise des contestations sur les critères d’admissibilité

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
Nicole Gladu (photo) and John Truchon, with both serious degenerative diseases, are challenging the constitutionality of the laws of québec and the federal medical assistance to die.

The cause of the two Quebecers with severe disabilities who claim the right to die as it enters its last stage.

The parties begin this Monday, their arguments at the end of 24 days of hearings, oral arguments, which will last until 28 February.

Nicole Gladu and Jean Truchon, with both serious degenerative diseases, are challenging the constitutionality of the laws of québec and the federal medical assistance to die.

The quebec law does not grant this aid that if the person is in end-of-life, while the version of federal imposes the criterion of death, “reasonably foreseeable”, there are two restrictions that do not apply to the two complainants.

They argue in front of judge Christine Baldwin of the superior Court that these restrictions violate the Charter of rights and freedoms, specifically sections 7 and 15, which guarantee respectively the right to life and security and the right to equality.

Even more, they believe that these criteria are counter to the judgment of the supreme Court, which, in 2015, had decriminalized for medical help to die.

Their counsel, Me Jean-Pierre Ménard, intends to demonstrate that the intention of the high court was to make of suffering the criterion for access to medical aid and not the prospect of imminent death.

The goal of his clients is to get the court to allow doctors to provide medical aid to die and declaring invalid and ineffective the articles of the two laws, putting in place the criteria for the end-of-life and death reasonably foreseeable.

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