The Latimer Case: The Reflections of People with Disabilities - Equality Rights Issues

by Cal Lambeth (Winnipeg mother of a child with a disability)

I believe that this is a personal tragedy for the Latimer family as any domestic crime involving the loss of life would be a tragedy. Tracy Latimer is a tragic victim of misguided beliefs. But apart from the individuals involved, it stands as a case which can have serious implications for citizens of Canada, and particularly for citizens who have disabilities. In fact, it will measure the values of the society in which we live.

The Latimer Case: The Reflections of People with Disabilities - Wake Up Call

An interview with Catherine Frazee

Why is the Latimer case important?

The case brought into focus clearly the very wide gap between how we perceive ourselves and how we are perceived by the nondisabled majority. We are as content with our lives as is the nondisabled population. However, the nondisabled majority's perceptions about disablement are very distorted, seeing it as something greatly diminishing the quality of life.

The Latimer Case: The Reflections of People with Disabilities - Our Lives Are Worth Living

Comments from a Vigil for Tracy Latimer

by Catherine Frazee

It's a simple question—why have all these people left their homes and their jobs to be here? Why have we made the considerable effort that it always takes for most of us to get anywhere in this big inaccessible country? Why are we huddled together out here in the February cold, sacrificing the comfort of our regular routines and risking our health?

Support the Tracy Fund

(28 December 1998) — CCD is seeking your support to continue working to protect the fundamental human rights of persons with disabilities.

Make a contribution to our work today!

CCD has undertaken the following activities in support of fundamental human rights:

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.

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