Euthanasia Debate Rages On


For Immediate Release:

Jan. 06, 2011 – The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC is dismayed by last month’s full parole of Saskatchewan wheat-farmer Robert Latimer, which sends the unfortunate message that ‘mercy killing’ can become an acceptable option in our society.

Latimer was granted full parole on December 6th, 2010 , after serving 9 years in prison for the 1993 ‘mercy killing’ of his daughter Tracy, who was severely disabled by cerebral palsy.

More than 12,000 British Columbians live with cerebral palsy, a disorder that poses unique and varying challenges to the individuals living with CP and to their families. The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC advocates for adequate supports and services so that families caring for a loved one with a disability are never so taxed that euthanasia becomes a consideration.

“Value is placed on members of society based on their abilities.  But another way to determine value must be considered for those with severe disabilities, because all human beings have value,” states Craig Langston, President of CPA-BC. “Tracy Latimer’s value may have been difficult to define – her severely disabling cerebral palsy made it hard to assign her life a value within the usual parameters such as success in a career or academics.  But if we ask ourselves whether these are the only valid determinants for human value, the answer must be a resounding “NO!”

Any child brings richness to his or her family.  A child with a disability provides a unique opportunity for family members, friends, and the larger community, to develop all the character traits that are held up as humanity’s best:  kindness, patience, gentleness, courage, and compassion. Tracy Latimer was not given the chance to realize her potential as a unique and valued member of the human family.

“We cannot fully understand the stresses under which Robert Latimer came to the decision to kill his young daughter; we can’t know how intolerable her pain; we certainly cannot know how Tracy Latimer related to the world,” says Trish McKay, vice president of CPA-BC. “But we do know that there are other options for families in the Latimer’s position.  We know that modern medicine can offer pain management.  And we know that in this country, nobody has the right to extinguish the life of another human being.”

Our Mission
* To raise awareness of Cerebral Palsy in the community;
* To assist those living with Cerebral Palsy to reach their maximum potential;
* To work to see those living with Cerebral Palsy realize their place as equals within a diverse society.


For more information:
CONTACT:  Craig Langston, CPABC PresidentCell: 604-614-4423
Fax: 604-408-9489
Toll Free: 1-800-663-0004

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