Jun 27, 2016

By Christine Ross

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Just days after Canada’s physician-assisted dying law was enacted, it is already be challenged by a 25-year-old British Columbia woman who fears she’ll be trapped inside her body.

Julia Lamb of Chilliwack, B-C, has spinal muscular atrophy and says she’s challenging the new law because she doesn’t qualify for physician assisted dying.

Lamb says there is a shadow over her, because she knows she could lose the ability to breathe on her own, forcing her onto a ventilator and cutting off her ability to speak.

She says she opposes the requirements of Bill C-14 that a doctor’s help can only be given if death is reasonably foreseeable.

Lawyer Grace Pastine, with the B-C Civil Liberties Association, says the high court gave people like Lamb the right to end their lives with a doctor’s help, while the new law forces some of those to find their own way to die.

Dr. Ellen Wiebe says she was preparing to help another woman who qualified under the Supreme Court rules, but just days before the woman’s intended death, Wiebe was told she could be prosecuted for taking part.

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