Lawsuit – Update

As you know, in July 2014 Living with Dignity and the Physicians' Alliance against Euthanasia filed a motion in the Superior Court, District of Montreal, to seek to have declared invalid all the provisions of An Act concerning end-of-life care dealing with  "medical aid in dying".

Following the catastrophic decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Carter legalising physician-assisted suicide, and as we do not know how the federal government will react, we examined whether it would be appropriate to continue our lawsuit under these new circumstances. We asked the Superior Court to suspend  our recourse until the declaration of invalidity made by the Supreme Court of Canada on February 6, 2015 takes effect (i.e. on February 6, 2016) or until the adoption of a new law by the federal Parliament taking into account the Carter decision. Our request was granted by the Chief Justice of the Superior Court on April 8, 2015.

We are not capitulating! We will remain vigilant and active throughout the process that will lead the federal government to formulate its response to the Carter decision and thereafter to protect the public and, in particular,  vulnerable persons such as the sick, the elderly and the handicapped. We will also work to ensure that physicians and other healthcare workers maintain fully their freedom of conscience.

There must be a mechanism (such as a Royal Commission) for the federal government to establish a responsible reaction to the Carter decision and time is needed to accomplish this. For such reason, we also urge the federal government to invoke the notwithstanding clause to suspend the effect of the Carter decision for the duration of such Royal Commission and until a new federal law on physician-assisted suicide is adopted.