La mort devant les tribunaux

UTRECHT - Gloria Taylor, une Canadienne, souffre d'une sclérose latérale amyotrophique (SLA), la maladie de Lou Gehrig, appelée aussi maladie de Charcot. Sur une période de quelques années, ses muscles vont s'affaiblir jusqu'à ce qu'elle ne puisse plus marcher, se servir de ses mains, mâcher, avaler, parler ni finalement respirer. Alors elle mourra. Taylor ne veut pas passer par toutes ces épreuves. Elle veut mourir à un moment qu'elle aura elle-même choisi.

Le suicide n'est pas un crime au Canada. Donc, comme le dit Taylor : « Je ne comprends tout simplement pas pourquoi la loi prévoit que les malades en phase terminale sans handicap physique soient autorisés à se tirer une balle parce qu'ils peuvent tenir fermement un pistolet ; alors qu'en revanche, parce que ma maladie affecte ma capacité de me déplacer et de commander mon corps, je ne suis pas autorisée à bénéficier d'une prise en charge de la souffrance qui me permette de commettre un acte équivalent en utilisant un médicament mortel. »

Taylor estime que la loi lui propose un choix cruel : soit mettre fin à sa vie quand elle la trouve encore agréable mais est capable de se tuer ; soit renoncer au droit que les autres ont de mettre fin à leur vie quand ils le choisissent. Elle s'est présentée devant le tribunal en faisant valoir que les dispositions du Code Criminel qui l'empêchent de recevoir une assistance à la mort sont incompatibles avec la Charte Canadienne des Droits et des Libertés, qui donne aux Canadiens le droit à la vie, à la liberté, à la sécurité personnelle et à l'égalité.

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