The BC Supreme Court has struck down the assisted suicde ban on the basis that it discriminates against the severely disabled.
In her ruling, Smith noted suicide itself is not illegal, and therefore the law against assisted suicide contravenes Section 15 of the charter, which guarantees equality, because it denies physically disabled people like Taylor the same rights as able-bodied people who can take their own lives, she ruled.
"The impact of that distinction is felt particularly acutely by persons such as Ms. Taylor, who are grievously and irremediably ill, physically disabled or soon to become so, mentally competent and who wish to have some control over their circumstances at the end of their lives," Smith writes.
"The distinction is discriminatory ? because it perpetuates disadvantage."
Smith also says the law deprives both people like Taylor and those who try to help them of the right to life and liberty guaranteed under Section 7 of the charter.
She argued the legislation could force a person to take their life sooner than they want to in order to kill themselves while still physically capable.
And Smith says the risk of incarceration denies the right of freedom to relatives who assist by taking their loved ones to jurisdictions where physician-assisted suicide is legal.
At the end of the decision, Smith also stipulates that her ruling only apply to "competent, fully informed, non-ambivalent adult persons who personally (not through a substituted decision-maker) request physician-assisted death, are free from coercion and undue influence and are not clinically depressed."
Do you agree with this ruling?