Yesterday the Supreme Court of Canada threw out Criminal Code restrictions on doctor-assisted suicide and euthanasia. Wesley Smith says the decision proves words don’t mean anything anymore, because according to the nine justices of the SCOC, “An irremediable condition may be one that is wholly remediable.”

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (and a member of this paper’s editorial advisory board), writes about the decision in the National Post today. While the SCOC urges Parliament to enact a law, it’s guidance would suggest there are no limits to doctor-assisted suicide/euthanasia. Schadenberg explains: “The decision allows euthanasia and assisted suicide for not only physical but also psychological suffering, without limiting it to clear parameters. Because there is no possible definition for psychological suffering, the Court has opened a Pandora’s Box.” Let’s see if Parliament can close it.

 The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) and the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) issued a joint press release expressing their profound disappointment because it leaves vulnerable individuals making literally life-and-death decisions at a critical time. While the idea of a living will expressing one’s wishes is a nice idea, the fact is that for most people these decisions will be made during traumatic times.

Living with Dignity and the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia issued a press release said that Canadian parliamentarians must find a way to enact safeguards that actually protect vulnerable individuals, unlike the so-called protections in Dutch and Belgian law.