Canada Court Hears Stephan Dufour Admit to Killing Uncle in Assisted Suicide
by Steven Ertelt
November 30, 2008
Alma, Canada (LifeNews.com) — A Quebec court on Monday heard 30-year-old Stephan Dufour admit that he killed his uncle in September 2006 in an assisted suicide. Dufour says he gave in to pressure from his uncle, Chantal Maltais, who asked repeatedly for his help in taking his life.
Dufour is charged with one count of assisting a suicide after helping Chantal Maltais kill himself in September 2006.
Maltais had muscular dystrophy, was confined to a wheelchair, and had told his family for years he wanted their help in taking his life. He had repeatedly tried to kill himself.
Following a long investigation, police arrested Dufour in May 2007 and Dufour has pleaded not guilty.
"I felt like I was in a prison," Dufour told the jury on Monday and added that Maltais asked him every day for months to kill him.
"He was harassing me all the time," Dufour said. "I couldn’t take it anymore."
According to a CanWest News Service report, Dufour said Maltais would get aggressive and confrontational with him because of the refusal and would bang his head against a wall until he became unconscious.
Dufour did not deny the statements he gave police during the investigation — when he admitted he prepared the chain and noose that Maltais ultimately used to hang himself.
Dufour revealed that one month before the suicide, Maltais asked him to stab him and Dufour refused the request because "I loved him too much."
Assisted suicide is illegal and, if found guilty, Dufour could spend 14 years in prison. However, previous cases have ended without a guilty verdict as the law has been tough to enforce.
Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of Canada, has been worried that Canada could be on its way to legalizing assisted suicide.
He has been monitoring the possibility of a private member’s bill in Parliament for some time and he says the Washington vote earlier this month to make it the second American state to allow it exacerbates his concerns.
"This is a tragic loss to vulnerable people everywhere," he told LifeNews.com about the I-1000 vote in Washington state which make it the second to legalize assisted suicide in the U.S.
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