Many opponents of doctor-assisted suicide have spent February flummoxed by the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in the Carter case, which gave Parliament a year to change criminal law to permit the practice. Two of Canada's leading voices against euthanasia and assisted suicide, Margaret Somerville and Charles Lewis, come together in the April-May issue of Convivium with their ideas and advice on how to proceed. Somerville, a professor in both the law and medicine faculties at McGill University, offers some of that advice with her tongue at least partially in cheek.
"As a joke, really, although it is something that I've said in speeches I've given, we should designate who gives the lethal injections, and one possibility would be the justices of the Supreme Court. Of course, I say that half jokingly but my serious point is that when you recommend something, if you're not willing to do it yourself, you shouldn't be doing it. I had a personal experience of that. I was in a big pediatric hospital, and they had a baby that was very, very ill and wasn't going to survive. We did a whole session on whether they could withdraw the life support treatment. I strongly believed they could (ethically) withdraw life support treatment. At the end of the session, they said: 'Well, come with us to the nursery and you turn it off.' That's a very different experience."