TORONTO —; An Ontario judge has agreed to allow a terminally-ill man to have doctors help him die, likely this weekend.
Superior Court Justice Paul Perell gave the green light after a 30-minute hearing today.
Perell also agreed there would be no need to notify the coroner after the man, who cannot be identified, dies.
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Neither the federal nor provincial government opposed the man’s request.
It’s the first case in Ontario – and second in Canada – in which someone has sought an exemption to Criminal Code provisions on assisted suicide under a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling.
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The now 81-year-old man was diagnosed in 2012 with lymphoma and is essentially bed-ridden and in unbearable pain.
“I grant the application,” Perell said, who then gave lengthy reasons for his decision, which included running through the Supreme Court’s rulings on the issue.
Perell said the married grandfather’s condition and circumstances meet all the criteria for the exemption.
Those include his being mentally competent, in extreme pain, and freely making the assisted-death request without coercion or manipulation.
“For all of my love of life, I do not fear death,” the man said in an affidavit. “I have a strong wish to die with dignity at the time of my choosing.”
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The judge also noted the man’s family and doctors support his request.
In addressing the court, lawyer Andrew Faith told the court his client’s condition was worsening and stressed the urgency of the request to die.
Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down laws that bar doctors from helping someone die, but put the ruling on hold for one year.
In February, the court granted the government a four-month extension, but said the terminally ill could ask the courts for an exemption to the ban during that period.