Supreme Court Sees Disability as Justification for Being Killed

February 6, 2015

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Edmonton: February 6, 2015
Supreme Court Sees Disability as Justification for Being Killed

Today Canada’s Supreme Court equated disability with the right to be assisted in killing oneself. The Court’s decision is the most permissive approach to assisted suicide in the world. Rather than require people to have a terminal illness, people with disabilities simply have to express their life is not worth living.

Today Canadians with disabilities were granted the “right” to be killed before being granted the right to be fully included in Canadian life. People with disabilities have been granted the right to the supports to end their life, before gaining the right to the supports needed for a full life in community. Individuals with disabilities are currently being denied supports and funding, which impacts the quality of their life. The Court has thus turned society’s failure to provide supports as a reason for being killed.

The Court dismissed Canada’s history in devaluing the lives of individuals with disabilities and the knowledge that people with disabilities can never be protected by any regulatory system when it is accepted they would be better off dead. The Court’s incomprehensible logic found not assisting people to kill themselves deprived them of their constitutional right to life, liberty and the security of the person.

Robin Acton, AACL President and the parent of an adult daughter with developmental disabilities, stated, “The Supreme Court decision sends a cold chill through the hearts of families and individuals with disabilities. The position of the Court communicates the message that disability alone is sufficient reason for someone to feel that they should be dead. The not so hidden message is my daughter’s life is of less value and she too may deserve to be killed.”

Bruce Uditsky, AACL CEO and the parent of an adult son with disabilities, stated “It is only a matter of time until the Court will hear arguments as it accepts disability as a condition for the termination of life for those who are deemed competent that the same right be applied to those who are deemed not competent. As such, my capacity as a parent to protect the very life of my son with intellectual disabilities is at risk. and more to the point his life, now devalued by the Court, is directly threatened.”

 

Bruce Uditsky, M.Ed.
Chief Executive Officer
Alberta Association for Community Living c 780.940.4269 e buditsky@aacl.org