Windsor Humanist Society

July 3, 2007

No charges in assisted suicide case

Filed under: Uncategorized — moderator @ 11:26 pm

The RCMP has cleared a retired Anglican minister in Nova Scotia of any wrongdoing in his wife’s suicide death in Switzerland.

The investigation began after Windsor, N.S. resident Eric MacDonald accompanied his wife Elizabeth MacDonald to Zurich so she could end her life. She died June 8 in his arms.

Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, and the RCMP have concluded that no crime was committed in Canada.

“There was no one that actively participated in getting her to the clinic in Switzerland or were instrumental in orchestrating that whole thing,” Const. Les Kakonyi said Tuesday.

“It would appear that this was done through her insistence and primarily through her own wishes.”

Elizabeth MacDonald, 38, had a severe form of multiple sclerosis that left her in a wheelchair. Her throat was also beginning to paralyze.

Staff at The Dignitas Clinic gave Elizabeth MacDonald a glass of barbiturates and told her she would die if she drank it, but she did it without any hesitation, her husband has said.

Eric MacDonald says police acted the way he thought they would. “I would question somewhat why the police were involved,” Mr. MacDonald said, “but I realize they have to follow up on complaints.”

The RCMP received a complaint from The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition in Ontario (link here) after Ms. MacDonald’s obituary was published with mention of the Swiss Dignitas clinic. Canada’s Euthanasia Prevention Council lobbies against assisted suicide.
…this post forwarded by a Windsor Humanist (N.Hod) after a July 3, 2007 piece on CBC News.

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