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Do We Have the Right to Die?

In June 2016, the Canadian Parliament passed legislation legalizing a framework that permitted medically assisted dying in Canada. Formerly, any act to assist in the suicide of another, or even counselling a person to end their life, was prohibited under law. Canada has now joined several other countries in which medically assisted death is allowed, including several U.S. states. Such laws allow or force medical staff to expand their services from assisting the sick to recover, to assisting in the killing of a patient. There are many who view this service as right, needed by those who are suffering severely and have no hope of recovery. They view it as an act of mercy. Others feel passionately that legalizing a procedure to terminate the lives of the suffering as a devaluation of human life, and fear that in the future such can be used to eliminate the need to care for the elderly, the severely disabled and the vulnerable of society. Who is right? Is assisted death liberating or an impending threat?

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