The implications of Rodriguez and Latimer on the Status of Euthanasia

4 April 2015
An examination of how the cases of Rodriguez and Latimer impacted approaches to Euthanasia

An examination of the issues and reasons which formed the decision in the Canadian cases of Sue Rodriguez and Robert Latimer. This paper examines the decision of the court in relation to the law, as well as the effects of the decision on disabled persons in Canada.

From the paper:

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“The cases of Rodriguez and Latimer were landmark decisions, which set precedents over the practice of euthanasia in Canada. It is likely that these two decisions will be the cornerstones of future challenges to the laws which are currently in place prohibiting this practice. While both of these cases dealt with instances of euthanasia, the circumstances behind the cases were very different. Both have given rise to debate within Canadian society about the freedom each individual has over when and how we will die. Do we have the right to choose? Do others have the right to choose for us if we are not capable ourselves? The moral and ethical dimensions within these questions, difficult as they are, are even more complicated when the same questions are raised in relation to the criminal law. Both Rodriguez and Latimer were highly divisive cases which inflamed the emotions of those who support euthanasia, and those who oppose.”

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