Carter v. Canada: Nonreligion in the Context of Physician-Assisted Dying

Title: Carter v. Canada: Nonreligion in the Context of Physician-Assisted Dying
Authors: Steele, Cory
Date: 2018-08-09
Abstract: In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in the Carter decision that the prohibitions against physician-assisted dying, as outlined in section 241(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada, were unconstitutional as they violated an individual’s s.7 rights as outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Though the jurisprudence of this landmark decision and subsequent amendments to Canadian law are interesting in and of themselves, what is particularly interesting about Carter is the framework within which physician-assisted dying is conceptualized. The Court shifts from a religiously informed framework for conceptualizing assisted suicide to a non-religious conceptualization of physician-assisted dying. Given that there remains much to be explored about nonreligion, this thesis asks: how is ‘nonreligion’ constructed by law in relation to physician-assisted dying in Canada? Since the Carter decision is not explicitly about religion or nonreligion the analysis in this thesis maps how the concepts life, death, and morality are reconceptualized. The analysis reveals that nonreligion is a phenomenon that is absent of the transcendent and is instead given positive content through a focus on autonomy. The conceptualization of nonreligion as presented in this thesis contributes to the literature that emphasizes that nonreligion is both positive and meaningful and not simply deficit terminology.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -