Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Canada: "Justice Smith seemed skepical of Mr. Arvay's argument"

This Report is from the Farewell Foundation for the Carter Case, December 16, 2011:
Zero-Tolerance for Wrongful Death
Joe Arvay submitted that Canada's closing argument amounts to a "zero-tolerance" policy because it says Parliament can't enact a law that "might create even the 'risk' that one person might die who should not have died."  Arvay said Canada's counsel is "simply wrong" and clarified that Parliament could "leave the matter unregulated as a private matter between the physician and patient," but he hoped government would create some sort of law to regulate assisted death.
Justice Smith pointed out that Canada did not have capital punishment because of the risk that one wrongful death of an innocent person is too many.  "What do you say to that?"
Mr. Arvay answered "Let us put to rest once and for all the complete red herring of capital punishment.. Canada says capital punishment was abolished 'precisely because even the best justice system in the world makes mistakes that, if capital punishment were an option, would result in the death of innocent individuals.' . It need hardly be mentioned that we can assume that everyone on death row wants to live and is being killed involuntarily.  Involuntary death is not only not sought in this case, it is the polar opposite of what is sought in this case - the right to control one's own life and death."
Justice Smith seemed skeptical at Mr. Arvay's argument.  She pointed out that some voluntary deaths may involve people who do not really mean to die. In answer, Arvay said that the risks had to be reconciled somehow, that we don't live in a totally risk free world and that the Court should look at the risks that are already inherent in the medical system every day.  Arvay said that if Justice Smith chose to strike the law, the federal parliament had the option of crafting the best law humanely possible.
To view the entire report, go here: