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Self-Determination Threatened by DNR Orders: David Martin Speaks Out

23 December 1998

How did the MLPD get involved in the Sawatzky case?

Kevorkian, Dr. Death, Charged with Murder

(3 December 1998) — On Sunday, 22 November 1998, CBS's "60 Minutes" broadcast a video in which Dr. Jack Kevorkian administered a lethal injection to Thomas Youk, a 52 year old man with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Dr. Kevorkian shared the video with CBS to push US society another step down the road toward legalized euthanasia.

Prior to the Youk case, Kevorkian has not administered a lethal injection. Instead, he has provided those requesting his services with a "suicide machine" which was operated by the person requesting the suicide.

Self-Determination Threatened

(2 December 1998) — When Catherine Frazee, a member of CCD's Human Rights Committee, spoke to a gathering in Winnipeg to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration Human Rights, she titled her presentation "Eugenics: Who Gets to Live". Recent events in Canada and elsewhere demonstrate that eugenic assumptions continue to cause the deaths of people with disabilities.

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

(1 December 1998) — The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal handed down a unanimous decision in the Latimer case last week. While the Court came down on the side of disability rights, the reaction of media commentators was not as positive. This edition of the Latimer Watch contains a sampling of the coverage following last Monday's decision. Commentaries have been divided into the good: those written from an equality rights perspective, the bad: those which advocated an ableist point of view and the ugly: those which presented distorted interpretations as fact.

Exemption Quashed

(23 November 1998) — Relief spread over the community of persons with disabilities when it was learned that the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal had set aside the constitutional exemption given to Robert Latimer last year by Justice Ted Noble. The exemption would have allowed Latimer to avoid the mandatory penalty for second degree murder, established by the Criminal Code. For those convicted of second degree murder, parole is not an option until ten years have been served in penitentiary. With the constitutional exemption, Latimer would have served less than two years jail time.

Factum Excerpts

(23 October 1998) — This Latimer Watch presents a summary of the 1998 intervention factum presented by our community to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in the Latimer case.

The intervenors addressed whether the Trial Judge erred in (a) failing to leave necessity as an issue for the jury; (b) granting Mr. Latimer a constitutional exemption from the mandatory provisions of the Criminal Code; and (c) failing to tell the jury of the punishment provided for the second degree murder.

The Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Follies

by Judith Snow, MA
Chairperson, Ontario Advocacy Coalition

(October 22, 1998) — Jam packed into one week in October, yet once again Canadians are going to be treated to a media spectacle—the Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Follies. The opening act will consist of a dramatic presentation on CBC starring the ghost of Sue Rodriguez. The main act will bring Robert Latimer back for an encore performance of "Killing Me Softly" performed with genuine Canadian empathy and compassion.

Hugh Scher Raises Concerns with CBC

[21 October, 1998]

October 16, 1998

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
250 Front Street West
Toronto, ON M5W 1E6

Attention: Heather Spiller, National Assignment Editor

Dear Ms. Spiller:
Re: Airing of Feature Film—"At the End of the Day"—The Sue Rodriguez Story

Chilling Quotes

(15 October 1998) — Robert Latimer's October appeal to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal will likely put this case in the news once again. Consequently, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities is intensifying its efforts to monitor public discourse on the Latimer case and to present the aspects of the case which would be absent without the involvement of persons with disabilities. It is people with disabilities who have been setting the record straight on the true definition of compassion.

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