Rodriguez v. Attorney General of British Columbia
(1993), 85 CCC (3d) 15 (S.C.C.)
* Sue Rodriguez was a 42 year old woman, married with a young song and living in British Columbia. * Rodriguez was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis otherwise known as ALS and was given between two and fourteen months left to live. * Sue Rodriguez knew that because of this disease she would soon lose the use of her muscles, which would prevent her from breathing or eating without medical involvement. * Sue wants to end her life when she is no longer able to enjoy it, however when she reaches this point she will no longer be capable of ending her own life without assistance. * Rodriguez seeks a legal method which would allow a medical practitioner to set up a device which allows her to end her own life, when she chooses. * Sue Rodriguez appealed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia for an order that s. 241 (b) of the Criminal Code be declared invalid pursuant to s. 24 (1) of the Charter, on grounds that it violates her rights under subsections 7, 12, and 15 (1) of the Charter.
The dispute between Sue Rodriguez and the Supreme Court of British Columbia Does sections 241(b) of the Criminal Code infringe or deny the rights and freedoms guaranteed by subsection 7, 12, and 15(1) of the Charter? And if it does, can this be justified under section 1 of the Charter and therefore be consistent with the constitution act, 1892?
The laws involved include Criminal Code section 241. Everyone who (a) counsels a person to commit suicide, or (b) aids or abets a person to commit suicide, whether suicide ensues or not, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years. As well as violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms subsections 7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles...
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