Canadians suffering at the end of their lives need top court’s help, lawyer says

A lawyer set to argue at the Supreme Court of Canada this week for the right to assisted suicide says it would be a travesty if politicians simply ignore the issue.

OTTAWA — A lawyer set to argue at the Supreme Court of Canada this week for the right to assisted suicide says it would be a travesty if politicians simply ignore the issue.

Grace Pastine of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association says suffering Canadians are asking for the top court’s help to change the current laws.

Should the Supreme Court agree that today’s rules violate the Constitution, it could give Parliament time to write new laws.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday he has no intention of reopening the debate, noting that it has been before Parliament in the past.

Several bills that would allow for assisted suicide have come before the House of Commons over the last two decades but none has ever made it very far.

Still, Harper says the government is watching the case with great interest.