Disability group dismayed by Supreme Court ruling on assisted suicide

Posted in: Press Releases

For Immediate Release

(Fredericton) The New Brunswick Association for Community Living (NBACL) is reeling after a recent decision by the Supreme Court of Canada on doctor assisted suicide.

“We are deeply dismayed by the potential impact of this decision on the lives of persons with disabilities, says Dianne Cormier Northrup, President of NBACL and mother of an adult son and daughter with a disability.

“This ruling creates the potential for Canadians to have the easiest access to assisted suicide than any other jurisdiction in the world.”
Unlike laws in other jurisdictions the court did not require that someone must have a terminal illness to access assisted suicide. The ruling also permits assisted suicide on the basis of psychological pain.

“Our concern is that the court’s parameters are too broad and don’t go far enough to protect people with disabilities who may not be getting enough supports or are perceived to be suffering when they are not,” says Cormier Northrop.

“NBACL is calling on the government of Canada to establish crucial safeguards in law that will limit access to assisted suicide and in doing so, protect persons with disability.”

NBACL shares this sense of alarm with their national association the Canadian Association for Community Living, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, and with other disability organizations across the country.

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The New Brunswick Association for Community Living is a charitable, non-profit organization that works with and on behalf of children and adults with an intellectual disability and their families. Established in 1957, NBACL has 12 local associations throughout New Brunswick.

For more information, please contact Christy McLean, Manager of Communications for the New Brunswick Association for Community Living at cmclean@nbacl.nb.ca or call 1-506-260-6212 (cell).

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