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Canadians Should not be Provided Public Support to Kill Themselves

Carter V. Canada 

Toronto and Winnipeg
September 18, 2014 

“Canadians Should not be Provided Public Support to Kill Themselves”

“It’s not worse than death, and people who are misled into believing it will be should not be offered public support to kill themselves”, say two leading disability rights organizations who will be opposing attempts to strike down statutory provisions designed to prevent counseling or assisting anyone, disabled or not, to die.

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear a case October 15th in which it is being asked to strike down these protections, but only for disabled people. The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) and the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) are the organized voice of Canada’s citizens with disabilities. They will be appearing in court to oppose efforts to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia (AS/E).

“Nobody in Canada needs to be left to face death in pain, nor should they have to feel their lives are a burden for others”, says Rhonda Wiebe of CCD. “People with disabilities should be joining with the Canadian Medical Association and many others and demanding adequate end of life care instead of putting resources in an AS/E program".

In jurisdictions where AS/E is legal the leading reasons given for dying are “losing dignity and autonomy” and “becoming burdensome for family and friends”. “These initial fears are normal but are based on conditions that over time become routine aspects of life for disabled people”, says Catherine Frazee, former Chair of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

“We are concerned that countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands see nothing wrong with euthanizing children and people with developmental or cognitive disabilities”, said Laurie Larson, President of CACL. “We are also concerned that the year over year growth in death rates in these countries are increasing by an average of 48 and 64% respectively with no end in sight to these increases”.

CCD/CACL want the public to understand the concerns of the community AS/E is said to benefit. To learn more you can access the CCD/CACL factum submitted to the Supreme Court, at or or contact:

Laurie Beachell, National Coordinator, CCD at: 204 947 0303 or
Michael Bach, Executive Vice-President, CACL at: 416 209 7942 


The Carter v. Canada and other CACL legal intervener information can be found in the Legal Cases section of
To download a pdf version of this release or others please see the CACL in the News section of our website


Having a disability and a

Having a disability and a terminal illness are two completely different things and they need to be clearly distinguished. I am not sure why this is constantly being confused. Judging by how long it's taken for assisted death to become legal I am certain the government would have enough laws protecting the more vulnerable of our society, such as people with disabilities. I do not see the rates you speak of in the factum, however in the factum I did read “no evidence of heightened risk of physician assisted death in Oregon or the Netherlands for individuals who were physically disabled or chronically ill.” Any information I have researched on has said this, "rates of assisted dying in Oregon and in the Netherlands showed no evidence of heightened risk for the elderly, women, the uninsured , people with low educational status, the poor, the physically disabled or chronically ill, minors, people with psychiatric illnesses including depression, or racial or ethnic minorities, compared with background populations. The only group with a heightened risk was people with AIDS." I think we need to get our information straight here before we have a case.


I would like to know What source you used for the numbers you mention about Belgium and The Netherlands?
Thank you.

Re: source?

The rates are in the factum – at footnote 56 referencing footnote 28 - Thanks for your question. Direct link to the factum