It’s a historical ruling for Canada and a topic that will forever be swirling in controversy. It’s also one that will never have a consensus but with that said, I’m happy for the woman and if ever I faced the same circumstances I would hope that I would be given the same option.
While she’s made no decision yet as to when she may take action, a terminally ill B.C. woman has just been granted the right to a physician-assisted suicide by a B.C. judge. Gloria Taylor says she is overwhelmed by the “momentous” decision. “This is a momentous time in history. Now all Canadians will have the right to die with dignity. This is a blessing for me and for all other seriously ill Canadians.” And that’s a key statement in all this – “for all other SERIOUSLY ILL Canadians.” “I’m so grateful to know that if I choose to do so I will be allowed to seek a doctor’s help to a peaceful and dignified death. This brings me great solace and comfort,” she says.
The mere mention of this topic gets a lot of people up in arms. What will happen to society as a whole if we permit “human euthanasia?” What gives a human the right to take another humans life under ANY circumstance? Will there be abuse of the system?
We’re not talking about doctors killing people if they have a head cold or are having a bad day. We’re talking about helping someone who is terminally ill with no chance for recovery to put and end to their pain. We’re talking about ending suffering for someone who has no quality of life left. It’s not a crazy, rash suicide, it’s a decision reached between patient, family and doctor and I’m sure it’s not one that’s reached lightly.
“I’d really like to see people say assisted dying and stop saying assisted suicide. It is not suicide. There is no comparison... nobody is helping me commit suicide. They are helping me to die a peaceful death,” says an emotional Taylor who is now wheelchair bound, using a feeding tube and quickly losing her ability to speak.
It’s easy to sit back and judge when you’re removed from the circumstance, but if you or I were in the same situation as Taylor, wouldn’t you like the right to call your own shots? While I can’t say for sure what I would do without being in Taylor’s shoes, I can say I would like to have the freedom to explore all my options.
With the BC judge’s ruling currently under federal review, Taylor is awaiting the final outcome. “I would hope that they would just let it go and not appeal it. Just be big enough to say... We can’t expect people to die horrible deaths,” she says. I agree. Good luck Ms. Taylor.