Philip Slayton, the author of the book: Mighty Judgement, How the Supreme Court of Canada Runs your life suggests that the Supreme Court of Canada will likely uphold the laws in Canada that prohibit euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Slayton predicts that the Supreme Court will hear the Carter case in July 2013. Considering the fact that the BC Court of Appeal will hear the the Carter case from March 4 – 8, 2013, I think that the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case after July 2013.
Slayton gives a summary of the majority decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Rodriguez case in 1993 and points out that Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin is the only justice who remains on the bench since 1993 and he expects that she will support legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Slayton states that in Rodriguez – Justice Sopinka held in the majority decision that: society needs to prevent suicide from being encouraged and assisted in an abusive situation.
Slayton then points out that by the time the Supreme Court of Canada hears the Carter case, 7 of the 9 Justices will have been appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Slayton suggests that it is unlikely that the Supreme Court, which is becoming more Conservative (in his assessment), will overrule the Rodriguez decision.
Slayton then points out that Justice Smith, in the Carter decision, who wrote a “ponderous” decision with everything in it – including the kitchen sink, seems to be saying that times have changed. Slayton indicates that Justices should observe that brevity conveys an idea more powerfully than length. Slayton indicates that Smith based her decision on the belief that times have changed.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition rejects the idea that times have changed, and we hope that the Supreme Court will follow the lead of the Court in the UK
who decided that it is the role of parliament to decide if laws on euthanasia and assisted suicide should change.
Nonetheless, Slayton’s assessment of the Carter decision is one of many that I have read.
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