Euthanasia - Kevin Buck

Government Structures and Political
Decision Making Project
Historical Background of Issue
Advancements in medical treatment people are able to delay death.
This usually entails a diminished quality of life, especially if someone is battling an incurable
Key issues have risen to bring talks about euthanasia:
o The desire to be spared from prolonged suffering
o The increased incidence of seriously debilitating diseases such as AIDS and Alzheimer’s
o A better understanding of how medical technology can prolong life and affect the dying
Section 14 of the Code provides that:
o “No person is entitled to consent to have death inflicted on him, and such consent does
not affect the criminal responsibility of any person by whom death may be inflicted on
the person by whom consent is given.”
 This means that a doctor who, at a patient’s request, gives the patient a lethal
injection would be criminally liable.
(Tiedemann & Valiquet, 2008)
Use of media
o Allowing the use of social media to allow the public to voice their opinions on the issue.
o Using newspapers, television, the internet to spread both the facts about the issue and
the voice of the public.
 If the public responds to this issue by way of letters to newspapers, local MP’s
and public protests, then the government will have to make considerations into
changing the law.
The Legislature
o Has the power to change and make laws and bills in Canada
o The lobbyers use their extensive knowledge of the issue to inform members of
o Target specifically the minister of Health, Leona Aglukkaq, who was appointed by the
Prime Minister and also has background knowledge on the issue.
The legislature is the only one able to pass a bill.
(Ruypers, Austin, Carter, & Murphy, 2005)
(Health Canada, 2009)
In 1992, Sue Rodriguez forced the right-to-die debate into the spotlight in Canada.
o "If I cannot give consent to my own death, whose body is this? Who owns my life?" she
said. The Supreme Court of Canada ultimately ruled against Rodriguez, but her struggle
galvanized the public. Rodriguez committed suicide in 1994 with the help of an
anonymous doctor.
On 6 May 1997, in Halifax, Dr. Nancy Morrison was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder
in the death of a terminally ill cancer patient. Mr. Mills had cancer of the esophagus, which
required removing the esophagus and repairing the gap by repositioning the stomach. All
possible treatment methods were unsuccessful. By 9 November 1996, there was no hope of
Legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Oregon and Washington
(CBC News, 2009) (Tiedemann & Valiquet, 2008)
The fine line between assisted suicide and euthanasia.
o Assisted suicide occurs when a person — typically someone suffering from an incurable
illness or chronic intense pain — intentionally kills himself with the help of another
The Criminal Code of Canada outlaws suicide assistance, with penalties of up to 14 years in
Some religious opponents argue that God, not humans, should decide the time for death. And
many medical professionals maintain it is never morally permissible for doctors to help kill a
Works Cited
CBC News. (2009, Febuary 9). The fight for the right to die. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from CBC News
Health Canada. (2009, September 29). About Health Canada- Minister. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from
Health Canada:
Ruypers, J., Austin, M., Carter, P., & Murphy, T. G. (2005). Canadian and World Politics . Toronto: Emond
Montgomery Publications Limited.
Tiedemann, M., & Valiquet, D. (2008, July 17). Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Canada. Retrieved July
14, 2011, from Parliament of Canada:
* All of my sources were taken from highly respected sites in the CBC, Health Canada and the
Parliament of Canada as well as our textbook. Also all of the sources were from no later than
2005 making them all relevant to my issue.