The Right to Die: The courageous Canadians who gave us the right to a dignified death by Gary BauslaughThe Right to Die: The courageous Canadians who gave us the right to a dignified death by Gary Bauslaugh

The Right to Die: The courageous Canadians who gave us the right to a dignified death

byGary Bauslaugh

Hardcover | April 1, 2016

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"Who owns my life?" Sue Rodriguez was dying of a form of ALS (or Lou Gehrig's disease) when she asked this question of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1993. She was fighting for the right to a physician-assisted death before she became fully paralyzed. At the time, assisted suicide could result in jail time for the participating physician. In a narrow decision, Rodriguez lost her case. She died in 1994.

In a historic reversal, in 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada changed its mind. The court ruled that Canadians suffering unbearably from illness or disease do not have a duty to live. The landmark, unanimous decision was the culmination of two decades during which public opinion came to favour assisted suicide. The shift was the result of the efforts of courageous Canadians who asked for the right to a dignified death. In this book, Gary Bauslaugh tells their stories.

Among those whose stories are told are:

  • Sue Rodriguez, whose experience led to a split decision by the Supreme Court of Canada to retain laws against assisted suicide
  • Robert Latimer, convicted of second-degree murder for ending the life of his daughter who lived with debilitating cerebral palsy
  • John Hofsess and Evelyn Martens, who spent years giving practical assistance to those seeking help in dying
  • Donald Low, a renowned doctor who battled Toronto's SARS outbreak, yet was denied control over his end-of-life when diagnosed with a brain tumour
  • Kay Carter and Gloria Taylor, the Vancouver women whose end-of-life struggles were at the heart of the 2015 Supreme Court case

GARY BAUSLAUGH is the author of The Secret Power of Juries and Robert Latimer: A Story of Justice and Mercy. His writing has appeared in many publications and he has served as the president of the Humanist Association of Canada and editor of Humanist Perspectives. Gary, who holds a PhD in chemistry from McGill University, was a teacher...
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Title:The Right to Die: The courageous Canadians who gave us the right to a dignified deathFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:296 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inShipping dimensions:9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:April 1, 2016Publisher:James Lorimer & Company Ltd., PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1459411161

ISBN - 13:9781459411166

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from As fascinating as it is one-sided This is a well written book that traces the Right to Die Movement in Canada it is well-written, reader friendly and well-researched with several different cases I did not know existed. The only problem is how the author treats the other side. It is clear he is biased in favour of the Right to Die movement and has ignored stories in Belgium and the Netherlands which show how euthanasia can and is being abused. While he does say the concerns of anti-euthanasia activists should be taken seriously and respectfully he does not always live up to this. Still I think the book is worth reading, Recommended
Date published: 2018-11-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from As brilliantly written as it is one-sided This is a well-written history of Canada's Right to Die Movement. It is well researched written in a way that is accessible to everyone. It goes to the beginning of the Right to Die Movement the idea of 'mercy killing" and the progression to the present day (right after Carter v Canada)./ He details many heart wrenching cases and astute legal commentary. My only criticism is that the book was too soft on the Right to Die movement and seemed unwilling to consider that yes there have been manifestations of a "slippery slope" that the anti-euthanasia group claims such as in Belguim Switzerland and the Netherlands.While he did say that the views of the other side deserve respect and careful consideration, the author did not always live up to this. Nevertheless it is a well written book and is definitely worth reading, Recommended.
Date published: 2018-11-28

Editorial Reviews

"Who has the right to die? In his new book The Right to Die, author Gary Bauslaugh examines the stories and experiences of those individuals who want to end their life or have given this practical end-of-life assistance. These stories now come in the wake of Canada's new controversial assisted dying legislation, which became law in June, that restricts who qualifies for doctor-assisted death to only those "near death.""