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Supreme Court; Canada; physician-assisted suicide; Criminal Code


On February 12, 1994, Sue Rodriguez ended her life. According to her friend and supporter, M.P. Svend Robinson, who was present at her death, she was assisted by an anonymous physician who attended at her home and helped her accomplish the manner of death she had publicly declared she wanted. She controlled - to the extent that someone with a relentless, intractable condition could - the circumstances, timing and manner of her death. Sue Rodriguez achieved in her death what she could not persuade the Supreme Court of Canada to do during her lifetime. By placing the manner of her death on the public record, she forcefully demonstrated that death is indeed part of life. Bearing witness to her own cause, she preserved the power to take an initiative with her life by determining the time and manner of her death.